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Title: Palestinian documentary constitutionalism : a stalled project
Authors: Khalil, Asem 
Keywords: Constitutional law - Palestine;Rule of law - Palestine
Issue Date: 22-Feb-2019
Abstract: The drafting and the adoption of a Basic Law for the Palestinian Authority was a drawn-out and laborious process. This written constitution was an achievement: Palestinian political representatives had endorsed the pillars of Constitutionalism, reproducing this commitment within a single written document. This was a single instance of a wider global phenomenon which is referenced in the literature as ‘documentary constitutionalism’. The expectations that had been invested into the Basic Law when it entered into force soon evaporated. I will suggest that the enthusiasm for a written constitution should be understood with reference to the symbolic appeal of specific principles and values. After presenting documentary constitutionalism, I will then attempt to demonstrate that political practice preceded the entrenchment of rules and institutions necessary for constitutionalism. Finally, I will argue that Documentary Constitutionalism in Palestine has stalled, losing its momentum and impetus.
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