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Title: Introduction the Palestinian criminal justice system : development, reform and challenges
Authors: Abdelbaqi, Mustafa
Keywords: Criminal justice, Administration of - Palestine;Criminal law - Palestine
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law
Series/Report no.: Kriminologische Forschungsberichte aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für Ausländisches und Internationales Strafrecht, Freiburg ; Bd. K153
Abstract: The study on the Palestine System of Criminal Justice presents a theoretically exciting and politically most relevant case study on the transition of criminal justice under conditions of military conflicts, social unrest and limited economic resources. The situation in Palestine insofar parallels that of other countries which have gone or are still going through transitional periods characterized by a range of social problems among which insecurity and violence, a weak state, a weak economy and a weak civil society figure prominently. Problems of insecurity, however, are related to mistrust and with that to the obvious need to re-establish trust as a basic social condition. The challenges that come with the task of building up trust are manifold as complexity of this task and the need for parallel processes of building state institutions, providing for the rule of law and justice, building a strong market economy and a civil society do not lend themselves to a simple and straight forwarded answer. The attempt to build trust always carries the risk of failure. A basic condition for building trust concerns the accommodation for concerns of security and justice which will be possible only if institutions and procedures are established that convey the credible message of being impartial and effective in delivering security, justice and freedom from the fear of physical violence. Insofar, at the core of the process that has to be initiated lies building and maintaining of administrative and judicial institutions that can provide for security and justice. In many cases this will amount to building up a state and those powers that are essential elements of a state: executive powers, judiciary and legislature. In fact, most of the proposals that have been made with respect to re-building societies after extended periods of violence clearly speak out for re-establishing a state and state institutions. A strong state, although sometimes perceived to be the source of many problems, certainly is required. In many conflict and post conflict areas it is not the strong state but the lack or the weakness of a monopoly of legitimate power (and violence) which is the problem. Only a functioning state will be able to create again “trust among people”. Insofar, relevant links are assumed to exist between security, the state and trust.
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