Monday, April 30, 2012

The History and Groundwork of the Palestinian Basic Law

The history of the Palestinian Basic Law traces back to original Ottoman laws that held force in what is today known as Israel and Palestine more than 400 years ago. After layers of laws were added to the legal regime in the area by British, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Israeli occupiers, the Oslo Accords of the mid 1990s rewound the legal clock to 1948. The laws at the end of the British Mandate over Palestine were thus reinstated, presenting a clean slate for the newly formed Palestinian Legislative Committee to establish a groundwork of uniquely Palestinian legislation. That said, more than 15 years later, the Palestinian Basic Law and its accompanying legislation have yet to be fully implemented by the Palestinian courts and government. The Basic Law's representation of Palestinians' rights and desires is also dubious. Max Budovitch spoke at the University of Chicago Arabic Circle on April 27, 2012 under the title "The Palestinian Basic Law: Its History and Groundwork."