Workshop on Palestine National Archives Draft Law

As part of the activities of the Palestine Digital Archive Project at the Ibrahim Abu
Lughod Institute of International Studies (IALIIS) at
BZU, a workshop was conducted on
the Palestine National Archives draft law on 6 June 2012. This workshop aimed to study the 2010 Palestine
National Archives draft law and discuss the expected repercussions and
impact of its ratification.



IALIIS Director, Dr.
Asem Khalil, pointed out that the adoption of this law is quite dangerous,
since it restricts freedom of access to documents pertaining to "public
interest." He asserted that the basic principle of laws is to regulate, not
restrict, freedoms.


Law Lecturer at BZU, Ahmed Nasra, rejected the
draft law regarding it as an assault on freedom and incompatible with the principle of transparency.

Researcher and Lecturer in Law, Mahmoud Alawneh, noted that the draft law forbids local institutions working in the field of archives to cooperate with the National Archive and allows
cooperation with regional and international institutions only. He pointed
to a number of articles that conflict with the rights guaranteed in
the Palestinian Basic Law, including the
right to private property and the
issue of universities’ independence.



The workshop concluded with
participant consensus on the need to form pressure groups by the concerned institutions
to oppose the adoption of the draft
law as it impinges on the freedom to access and publish documents.