2017 Activities

Continuous Assault on the Rule of Law

Continuous Assault on the Rule of Law

Civil Society Organizations are gravely concerned about the continuous deterioration in the
Palestinian legal system due to the escalation of decision making in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip, regarding the rule of law, separation of powers and constitutional values, reflecting the
Palestinian political system which cannot be overcome, unless through holding general
The legislative deviation has reached the point of violating the essence and philosophy of the
legal base and its main purpose in public interest, and an objective criteria rather than personal
interests. Many of these legislations which interfere in the rule of law principles threaten to
collapse the legislative system.

President Mahmoud Abbas issued a law decision on Feb.15th 2017 to amend the AntiCorruption
Law No.1 for the year 2005, in order to amend the first paragraph of article 6 which
sets the term of office for the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission for 7 years, which could
be extended to two more years according to the President’s decision. Following the day after,
the President issued a presidential decree to extend Mr.Radiq Al-Natshe to extend his term in
office for another year starting from 09/03/2017 not to mention that Mr.Rafiq Al-Natshe, was
appointed chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission on 09/03/2010, seven years before the
beginning of the extension.

Therefore, Many organizations such as the Independent Commission for Human Rights ICHR
the Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN, Al-Haq organization, MUSAWA - The
Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, Human
Rights and Democracy Media Center SHAMS, Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research,
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies, Palestian Bar Center, in addition to many academics
and legal experts have called the President to repeal the law for extending the head of the AntiCorruption
Commission for many reasons such as:

First: the amended law does not apply to the status of legislation, since the legislation contains
rules of law “general and abstract” which are not addressed to a particular person or to a
specific fact, and must not be built on a personal interest which is Mr. Rafiq Al-Natshe in thi

Second: the presidential decision issued on February,16th 2017 to extend Mr.Rafiq Al-Natshe as
the head of the Anti-Commission for one year was issued a day after the amendment was taken
therefore, which does not serve in the public interest but rather for a personal interest, and the
benefit for a particular person, which reveals the legislative deviation.

Third: the decision of the law on the extension of period in office is contrary to the provisions of
Article 43 of the Amended Basic Law.

Fourth: the implementation of the amended law must be 30 days after the decision has been
taken and published in the newspapers according to the Amended Basic Law No.116

Fifth: the decision involves violates the principles of the rule of law in its formal and substantive
sense as a constitutional basis for good governance, a legal state and the constitutional
principles based on equality and equal opportunity.

Sixth: the decision lacked the principles of transparency in the absence of social participation
and the absence of justification for the purposes of amendment.

Although that we are fully appreciative of Mr.Rafiq Al-Natshe and his efforts in enhancing the
role and position of the Anti-Corruption Commission, we demand the repeal of the law and
presidential decree on the extension and to adopt the principles of transparency and social
participation in the appointment of a new head for the Anti-Corruption Commission.

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