EUPOL COPPS supports Palestinians to institutionalise fair trials

EUPOL COPPS human rights and rule of law experts held a workshop on Monday 03 February 2020 to enhance the capabilities of their Palestinian counterparts in the field of achieving a fair trial in Palestine. The aim is for the principles and recommendations for fair trials to be integrated into the strategic plans of Palestine’s justice sector institutions.

18 representatives from the High Judicial Council, the Ministry of Justice, the Palestinian Civil Police, the Bar Association and Public Prosecution, as well as the Independent Commission for Human Rights and the office of the legal adviser of the president attended the one-day workshop in Ramallah. They discussed ways in which Palestinian criminal justice system could be harmonized with international standards.

The discussion was based on 72 joint recommendations which have been made since 2016, tackling numerous issues in the field of legislation, institutional development, capacity building, and infrastructure support in a process billed as “Towards Full Realization of the Right to Fair Trial in Palestine”.

“The Fair Trial concept is the basis for the rule of law in any country and without it, human rights will not be well protected,” said Husam Sarandah, EUPOL COPPS legal expert. “Fair trials are such an effective approach towards preventing miscarriages of justice and are an essential component of a just society,” he added.

EUPOL COPPS experts have been working with their Palestinians counterparts on the issue of fair trial for six years and this workshop is meant to develop an action plan to further enhance its application.

The right to a fair trial requires a comprehensive set of rights, such as the right to equality before the law, prohibition of torture, and women's and children's rights, all of which are binding on the state of Palestine under international agreements, covenants and protocols. This national fair trial working group of specialists has analysed and clarified many requirements that relate to policies, legislation, interpretation of legislation, implementation of procedures, and the provision of fair guarantees for defendants, victims and witnesses before and after trials.