EUPOL COPPS participates in a ceremony marking the successful implementation of the MoU between PACC and the Police
Bringing together the Chief of the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) and the Head of the Palestinian Anti Corruption Commission (PACC), together with other high level representatives, all sides reiterated the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the fight against corruption, which, in the words of EUPOL COPPS HoM is itself a main obstacle to development and an undermining factor to any state building processes worldwide. Ongoing work against corruption is pivotal in achieving and retaining the trust of the citizens, and EUPOL COPPS is proud to be part of this effort that aims at enhancing the corruption crimes investigation in Palestine. Whilst commending all sides for the successful implementation of the MoU, HoM Nataliya Apostolova stressed that this partnership should serve as an example for further cooperation between institutions on the rule of law in Palestine. The MoU between the PACC and the PCP was signed in 2017, and is being hailed as a success story in itself, as well as enhancing the fruitful cooperation between the PACC and the PCP. EUPOL COPPS remains committed to working together with the PCP and the PACC in the ever important fight against corruption in Palestine.
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Head of EUPOL COPPS and Chief of Palestinian Police agree to strengthen cooperation
On 20 December, Chief of Palestinian Civil Police Major General Yousif Helo paid a visit to EUPOL COPPS HQ in Ramallah where he met with the Head of Mission Nataliya Apostolova. During the meeting, both sides updated each other on their ongoing activities and agreed to work towards the strengthening of the already excellent ties that exist between the EUPOL COPPS and the PCP. Furthermore, the start of 2022 will bring with it a string of activities in which EUPOL COPPS and the PCP will jointly engage.
EUPOL COPPS participated in the Justice Sector Working Group Technical Meeting
EUPOL COPPS participated in the Justice Sector Working Group Technical Meeting on 15 December 2021, represented by the Head of the Rule of Law Section along with two Mission advisers. The technical meeting was chaired by the Ministry of Justice and co-chaired by EUREP, where the Ministry of Justice presented the priorities of the Justice Sector Institutions for 2022. Several common topics and themes were raised and discussed, revolving around legislation, human rights & gender, access to justice, capacity building of the justice sector staff, infrastructure & IT, enhancement of cooperation between civil society and justice sector institutions and cooperation with the security sector. On the theme ‘development and harmonization of legislation with international treaties’, the Head of the Rule of Law Section, Giovanni Galzignato, commented that this theme raised the organization of the legislative process to a high priority, not least because it incorporates the need for the review and amendment of laws that support the independence of the judiciary and a fair trial. EUPOL COPPS has been providing technical support to the justice sector institutions for many years, including the legislative process and harmonisation of legislation with Palestine’s international obligations. “EUPOL COPPS is ready to support the legislative process and the review and amendment of laws in the area of criminal justice, including supporting the national committee for the penal code,” Galzignato said.
Ministry of Justice launches electronic encyclopaedia on International Law
Supported by EUPOL COPPS Mission, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) launched on Tuesday 14 November an electronic encyclopaedia to provide the public, officials, researchers and human rights specialists free access to an online database about legal information related to the state of Palestine. Nataliya Apostolova, Head of EUPOL COPPS Mission, said in her speech that other Palestinian institutions should follow suit to better serve the Palestinian public. “We ensure that our support and assistance to our counterparts will maintain to serve the best interests of the Palestinian people in all possible manners and also to serve the Justice Sector in Palestine,” she said. The MoJ teams have uploaded hundreds of documents on the E- encyclopaedia, which also includes the international organizations to which the State of Palestine recently joined, the international treaties and conventions acceded to by Palestine, in addition of speeches by President Mahmoud Abbas and other former presidents at the United Nations. The E-encyclopaedia is available in English and Arabic, as of 14/12/2021. The Rule of Law section works closely with all key justice institutions in Palestine in order to improve the legislative process, promote fair trial principles and strengthen the institutions through institutional development and capacity building.
Judges receive training on cybercrime and electronic evidence
Palestinian judges are now equipped with the know-how on cybercrime cases to be prepared to deal with cybercrime and electronic evidence. Twenty two Palestinian judges attended the one day training on cybercrime, delivered by expert Jasmin Jarad and organized by EUPOL COPPS’ Courts Team earlier this month in Ramallah. During the training session, the judges were introduced to how to tackle cases in the area of Cyber Crimes to stop various kinds of modern crimes like robbery, forgery, blackmailing cheating, and theft that are committed with the negative use of technologies. The event would help the Palestinian Judicial Institute (PJI) to cement ties with the High Judicial Council. “In the recent years, the world has moved further into the digital age. So is cybercrime. Our responsibility is to make the digital world safer,” said Annita Sorti, The Mission’s Justice Expert. The PJI, one of the Palestinian criminal justice institutions that the Mission supports, was established in 2008 to develop the capabilities of the judicial sector.
EUPOL COPPS and EUREP joined forces during a working lunch held with the Female Network for Leadership
The scope of the lunch was to discuss further steps in order to promote female lawyers in leadership positions, as well as the promotion of workshops and other capacity building initiatives to meet this aim. EUPOL COPPS has long supported the Palestinian Bar Association (PBA). The idea of a network project for female lawyers was first introduced in June 2019 during a leadership training after a study visit to Copenhagen. The aim of empowering female lawyers in their profession, as well as increasing their representation both in Court as well as on the board of the PBA remains high on the agenda. Whilst there is no female lawyer on the board of the PBA, more than 30% of the Palestinian lawyers are women, and the objective of electing a female lawyer to the board of the PBA remains of utmost importance. The Female Network was then launched in November 2020. Its core group members are practicing female lawyers and members of the PBA, hailing from Ramallah as well as Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Jenin. EUPOL COPPS remains committed to supporting female empowerment within the judiciary, encouraging the promotion of gender equality, in order to improve the situation for all Palestinian women.
Palestinian police succeeds in making mobile phone to function as Radio handsets
The Palestinian Civil Police (PCP), with the support of EUPOL COPPS, have succeeded in developing a new mobile application that enables the mobile phone to function as mobile radio handsets, a much needed device for the day-to-day work of the police. The engineers of the PCP’s Information and Communication Technology Administration (ICT) who have been working on the project for two years, have managed to add further features than the traditional radio, thus enhancing the efficiency of the performance of the police. “Technology has become a major source of expenditure and innovation in law enforcement and is assumed to hold great potential for enhancing police work,” said Colonel Suleiman Al-Khatib, head of the ICT Administration. EUPOL COPPS Mission provided 76 mobile phones that will be used by the police officers after installing the applications. This shipment would partially replace the outdated wireless radio network which operates on analog technology. The current analog devices are out of production and spare parts are no more in the market. “This project will reflect positively on both the PCP and the Palestinian citizen. Advanced technological equipment can reduce manpower shortages, increase officer safety, and help officers do their job more easily,” said Pasi Aho, Head of the Police Advisory Section. EUPOL COPPS has been working with ICT Administration of the PCP since 2007 and contributed considerably to the modernization of the department and building a computerized network which would eventually boost the operational and administrative capabilities of the PCP.
25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 2021 Theme: Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!
Some girls commit suicide to avoid forced marriage - 72% of human trafficking victims are women and girls - Gender-based violence jeopardises girls’ education. These are just some of the reasons why we need to act now to end gender-based violence. Today we #OrangeTheWorld in solidarity with victims of violence, and the EU takes stock of progress made and challenges ahead, one year after adopting the Gender Action Plan III, which promotes gender equality and women's empowerment through all external action of the European Union. Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises, the numbers rise, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent humanitarian crises, conflicts and climate disasters. Emotional abuse is also a problem that cannot be ignored During the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of the 'shadow pandemic' of domestic violence increased, showing that for many women and girls, home is not a safe place. Gender-based cyber violence is also spreading fast. A relatively new phenomenon is experienced by all women, though women visible in public life, such as journalists and politicians, experience gender-based cyber violence disproportionately often, which can affect democratic decision-making: they do not dare express political opinions due to fear of online targeting. The European Commission and the High Representative/Vice President, Josep Borrell: ‘Violence against women and girls is a pervasive human rights violation… We condemn and call for the end of violence against women everywhere, including in conflict situations. Progress is possible and we must continue to work together tirelessly to achieve more. The Commission will propose to extend the list of ‘EU crimes' to cover hate speech and hate crime. This will allow the EU to be able to criminalise gender-based hate speech and hate crime. We will also propose new legislation to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. It will propose concrete measures to prevent such violence, including when perpetrated online, to protect and support victims, improve their access to justice, and to ensure better coordination between competent authorities. We are stepping up our action and call to others for continued commitment and collaboration.’ It remains the responsibility of each and every one of us, acting individually and collectively, to #stopviolenceagainstwomen and to make the world a safer place for all women and girls. Today we #OrangeTheWorld. Will you join us?
Deputy Head of Mission participates in a high-level event to mark Palestinian Women National Day
The Deputy Head of Mission of EUPOL COPPS, Katja Dominik, this morning participated in a high level event to mark Palestinian Women National Day as well as the 21st Anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security. The primary topic of today’s event addressed the legal and judicial mechanisms to protect women in light of the international law and human rights. The event was also addressed by Mohammad Shalaldeh, Minister of Justice, Amal Hamad, Minister of Women Affairs, Qadri Abu Baker, Commissioner of Detainees and Ex-Detainees. as well as Rami Husseini representing Prime Minister Office. In her intervention, Deputy Head of Mission reiterated that EUPOL COPPS remains committed to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, working closely with our Palestinian counterparts in developing legislation and policy, and to ensure that implementation is carried out in a gender-sensitive manner, promoting the participation of women, providing equal opportunities and most crucially to the prevention of gender-based violence. As an EU CSDP Mission, the fundamental EU values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and human rights are the silver thread of our engagement. We strive to support a Palestinian society where inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non-discrimination prevail. Also in line with the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, EUPOL COPPS has developed its own Gender Action Plan, updated annually, including both internal and external activities. Activities are tailored towards the three pillars of the Women, Peace and Security agenda: Protection, Participation, and Gender Mainstreaming, and are equally prioritized in the execution of our mandate. The ratification without reservations by Palestine of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women is a significant achievement, and a step in the right direction. What remains is to apply the Convention to Palestinian law-making at the very earliest. The Mission is actively supporting gender sensitive drafting of legislation through capacity building of personnel engaged in legal drafting. As an illustration, Deputy Head of Mission reminded that EUPOL COPPS was able to finalise 20 capacity building projects in the justice sector in June, in which 380 people were trained, including 201 women (53%) Congratulating all Palestinian woman and girls on their national day, Deputy Head of Mission concluded by reaffirming the support of EUPOL COPPS for the protection of women’s rights, and the required mechanisms for their implementation, expressing confidence that in this very important sphere, tangible milestones will continue to be achieved.