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Title: Legislative Process in Palestine
Authors: Qafisheh, Mutaz
Keywords: Legislative Drafting Techniques, Law Reform, Legislative Drafting Manual, Palestinian Parliament, Palestinian Authority, Drafting Expertise
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: International Judicial Academy, Washington, D.C., with assistance from the American Society of International Law
Citation: Mutaz Qafisheh, 'Legislative Process in Palestine', International Judicial Monitor, Washington, D.C. (Spring 2013), available online at:
Abstract: The applicable law in Palestine is mixed of various legal systems. While the Ottoman legislation was based on Islamic Law and Continental Law, legislation that was enacted by Britain until May 1948 came as a reflection of the Common Law. The West Bank and Gaza were once again subjected to the continental-like legal system from 1948 and 1967. When the West Bank was annexed by Jordan, Jordanian law, largely derived from the Egyptian/French legal school, was extended to the West Bank. Egypt administrated Gaza without imposing its law, retaining the British-enacted legislation, but issuing certain legislation that was influenced by Egyptian law. After its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in June 1967, Israel did not extend its law. It ruled the territory chiefly by the previous legislation and added a series of military orders. The genuine legislative process started with the emergence of the Palestinian National Authority. After two decades, the Palestinian legislative process has become well established. When they started legislating in 1994-1995, the Palestinians had no previous governing experience. Employing common sense, they learned from the legislative history of the country and imported experience from other countries. Should the process have continued without external interventions, Palestine would have offered a model that could be replicated in other transitional States, whether there is a transition from a foreign occupation to independence or from autocratic regimes to democracy. The foregoing proves that, while the technical expertise might be necessary for successful legislative process; the decisive factor remains a political one.
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