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Administration of Criminal Justice in Palestine: Development, Reform and Challenges

NCJ Number
Mustafa Abdelbaqi
Date Published
387 pages
This book assesses the current state of the Palestinian criminal justice system and its administration regarding both law and practice, and it is compared with systems in other developed countries.
This study describes the historical roots of the Palestinian criminal law and its current status, reviews ongoing law reforms, identifies problems encountered in building and reforming the Palestinian criminal justice system, and analyzes data the author collected through interviews and questionnaires that involved persons in various criminal justice institutions. The book is organized into eight major parts, with each part containing chapters that address some aspect of the topic. The eight parts cover an overview of crime and the criminal justice system; the police; the Public Prosecution Office; the judicial system; sanctions and corrections; modern methods of out-of-court settlement; informal justice in Palestine ("Sulh"); and empirical research. The concluding chapter summarizes study results and recommendations for the following Palestinian domains: police, Public Prosecution Office, the judicial system, sanctions and corrections, out-of-court settlement, and Sulh. The study identifies the difficulties of building an effective and efficient criminal justice system in Palestine under the Israeli occupation and the divisions in the Palestinian territories. In addition, the principle of the rule of law is not yet deeply rooted in the Palestinian territories. The different authoritative powers in the society, namely the government, the militias, and the security units, are not bound by the law. This means there are persons and groups who are above the law. Although the separation of powers exists theoretically, in practice the executive authority dominates the other two powers. Extensive bibliography and appended Survey on Reform of the Palestinian Judicial System (judges and public prosecutors) and Survey on Reform of the Palestinian Police (police officers)