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Source: European Union (EU)
24 July 2013





EU supports construction of new courthouses and headquarters
for Palestinian Bar Association

On Tuesday 23rd July the European Union and the Palestinian Authority marked the onset of a €21 million construction project for seven courthouses and the headquarters' building of the Palestinian Bar Association. The event took place in the presence of representatives of Palestinian institutions such as the Minister of Public Works, the Head of the High Judicial Council and the EU Representative.

The High Judicial Council used to rent buildings which were both inadequate and in poor condition to serve as courthouses. In an effort to improve the quality of judicial services for the Palestinian people and provide a fitting work environment for Palestinian judges and lawyers, the EU supports the construction of new courthouses in Qalqilia, Tubas, Salfeet, Dura and Halhoul. It will also provide a home to Palestinian lawyers through the construction of the headquarters for the Palestinian Bar Association. The design is based on the needs identified by all Ministry of Public Works, High Judicial Council and the Office of the Attorney General and the construction is scheduled to start in April 2014.

"Applying the rule of law is fundamental to any democratic and modern state and must also be the foundation of the future State of Palestine. Today we mark the beginning of an important work which goes beyond infrastructure. The EU's goal is to support the capacity of justice institutions in Palestine to better serve Palestinian citizens. That’s why in the last few years we have specifically focused on the rule of law sector. We work closely with all Palestinian judicial institutions as well as the Palestinian Bar Association to improve the quality of services and encourage reforms that safeguard the independence of judges", said the EU Representative Mr. John Gatt-Rutter.

In the last three years, the EU has invested a total of €35 million in the justice sector. Aside from infrastructure, it supports Palestinian Authority programs in the field of legal aid and juvenile justice and works with the High Judicial Council, the Palestinian Bar Association and the Palestinian Judicial Institute to improve their services. On legal education, the EU has helped develop master degrees in Advanced Legal Studies across Palestinian universities and the first-ever Palestinian Diploma programme training candidates to become judges and prosecutors. The first 20 highly-qualified graduates of the Diploma are ready to provide their services to the Palestinian people as part of the High Judicial Council and the Office of the Attorney General.


For further details please contact:
The Office of the European Union Representative, West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA
Antonia Zafeiri, Tel: +972 (0) 2 5415 859, Mob: +972 (0) 548 024 915
Shadi Othman, Tel: +972 (0) 2 541 5867, Mob: +972 (0) 599 673 958
http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/westbank/



http://www.eeas.europa.eu/index_en.htm

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