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Title: The Legal Framework for Palestinian Security Sector Governance
Authors: Khalil, Asem 
Keywords: National security - Laws and legislation - Palestine;Law reform - Palestine
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)
Source: Khalil, Asem. “The Legal Framework for Palestinian Security Sector Governance.” In: Friedrich, Roland, and Arnold Luethold (Eds.). Entry Points to Palestinian Security Sector Reform, 2007, pp. 26-40.
Abstract: The Amended Basic Law of 2003 stipulates: ‘The security forces and the police shall be regulated by law.’1 This clause was already present in the very early drafts of the Palestinian ‘quasi-constitution’. Yet, after more than ten years of Palestinian self-rule, there is little legislation regulating the work of the security organisations of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). In fact, they still operate in a partial legal vacuum. As the Israeli-Palestinian agreements provided the basis for the establishing of the security organisations, the PNA felt little need to endow them with a sound legal basis. It was only after the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000 that the absence of a legal framework for the PNA security sector became a problem. The deteriorating security situation and the rise of armed groups called for efficient security organisations. But in order to build stronger security organisations, their mandates and accountability mechanisms needed to be defined by law. Rather reluctantly, the late PNA President Yasser Arafat in August 2004 called upon the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) ‘to elaborate the necessary laws to ensure an efficient and controlled working of the security forces.
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