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5 March 2015

EUPOL COPPS facilitates visit to London for key justice sector officials
to discuss roles and mandates of justice sector institutions

From 1-5 March 2015 EUPOL COPPS facilitated and supported a visit to London as part of an EUPOL COPPS/Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law initiative to better define the roles and mandates of the three key Palestinian justice sector institutions. The visit which was funded by the UK Government brought together the Palestinian Minister of Justice, Saleem Al-Saqa, the Chief Justice, Ali Muhanna, the Attorney General, Abdel-Ghani al-Oweiwi and the Legal Advisor to the President, Hasan Al-Ouri in order to discuss this important topic.

On Tuesday 3 March at a meeting with the UK Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, Mr. Simon Hughes MP, the PA Minister of Justice (who had been permitted to exit Gaza in order to attend the 5-day event) stated that “This is a historic event which we wanted to achieve for a long time and which would not have been possible without the efforts of EUPOL COPPS and the UK Government. This valuable opportunity will be a good basis to build on for a future which will, we hope, be marked by enhanced capacities and relationships of the justice sector counterparts”.

During the visit, sessions were facilitated by Sir Jeffrey Jowell of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. At these sessions the Palestinian key justice sector officials outlined their positions relating to how they believed their roles and mandates could be better clarified through proposed reforms of the law in key areas, such as budget, procurement and status of the prosecution service. Meetings were also held with key UK justice sector officials, including the Lord Chief Justice, the Minister of Justice, the staff of the crown prosecution service and former chief justices who were involved in the UK efforts to better clarify the relationship between the judiciary and executive.

Head of Mission Rodolphe Mauget said: “I want to commend all PA criminal justice sector stakeholders involved in this event for their commitment and their strong involvement in achieving strategic and thus delicate reforms. I have full trust in the PA authorities’ ability to achieve the strong structural changes of paramount importance in the state building effort.”

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