New Head of EUPOL COPPS emphasises human rights, judicial independence and cooperation in meetings with key partners

The recently appointed Head of EUPOL COPPS, Nataliya Apostolova met with the Head of the Palestinian Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Ahmad Barak on 7 December 2020 as well as the Chief Justice and Head of the Transitional High Judicial Council Issa Abu Sharar and the Head of the Palestinian Legislation and Advisory Bureau (the Diwan) Iman Abdul-Hamid on 8 December 2020. 

The protection of human rights was a key theme for all the meetings. The Palestinian Authority has committed to transposing a number of key international treaties into domestic legislation, which if fully implemented is expected to improve the legal framework for human rights for Palestinians. During her meeting with Ms Abdul-Hamid, Ms Apostolova underlined her commitment to maintaining the cooperation that EUPOL COPPS and the Diwan have developed in recent years to transpose international laws.

While at the Transitional High Judicial Council (THJC), Ms Apostolova spoke with Mr Abu Sharar about her experiences promoting the rule of law in the Middle East and Balkans over the course her career, and emphasised the importance of judicial independence and the separation of powers. As well as discussing the ways in which EUPOL COPPS might further support the THJC, Ms Apostolova also expressed her hope that the transition period for the HJC might soon be successfully brought to a conclusion in order to provide more certainty and stability to the Palestinian judiciary.

The importance of coordination and cooperation between different law enforcement and rule of law agencies on a national and international level was also an important theme of the meetings. While meeting with Dr Barak, Ms Apostolova noted that the fight against corruption is fundamental to the rule of law, and spoke about the ways in which EUPOL COPPS might be able to support PACC into order to strengthen cooperation with international and national partners.

“The meetings I have had with my Palestinian partners have been extremely productive, and I am delighted to have started my cooperation with my counterparts on such a positive note,” said the EUPOL COPPS Head of Mission after her meetings. “I am committed to maintaining an open dialogue with my Palestinian counterparts, and it was excellent to hear what they had to say and how EUPOL COPPS can productively and usefully build on our existing relationship with Palestinian law enforcement and rule of law institutions”.