During the opening session, key speakers addressed an audience made up of national and international legal experts as well as representatives from the Palestinian Civil Police and the civil society. Participants acknowledged that a fundamental requirement of the fair trial principle was that all citizens must be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
The Head of EUPOL COPPS, Kenneth Deane, stressed that “only when the principles of fair trial are fully guaranteed, will justice truly be put in place”, adding that “today’s conference is an important step in this process and we hope that we can together put in place a strategy to enhance the right to fair trial for the future”.
The Chief Justice, The Honourable Farid Al-Jallad, stated that “the fair trial principles are safeguarded the Palestinian Basic Law, which should not be theoretical, but rather real and practical where it refers to fair trial. In criminal procedures, this includes notably the right to be judged by independent courts”.
The Minister of Justice, Ali Muhanna emphasised that “the guarantees of fair trial are based on principles which aim at achieving justice for all citizens. What is needed are long term commitments which will examine the future of the Palestinian justice system. This conference will identify key areas for our future activities which will be aimed at enhancing fair trial principles in the criminal justice system”.
The Deputy Attorney General- Dr. Ahmad Barrak, the President of the Palestinian Bar Association- Adv. Hussein Shabaneh and the Commissioner General of the Independent Commission for Human Rights- Dr. Ahmad Harb, also advocated for strengthening the principles guaranteeing the right to fair trial. In addition, three eminent speakers chaired a panel on the Status of Fair Trial at the international level: Prof. Cherif Bassiouni from Egypt, Judge Snezhana Botusharova from Bulgaria and Judge Mohammad Al-Tarawneh from Jordan.
The conference concluded with the commitment by those present to dedicate resources and time during the coming 6 months so as to ensure the right to fair trial in the Palestinian territories is fully guaranteed and protected for all citizens.
an>The conference concluded with the commitment by those present to dedicate resources and time during the coming 6 months so as to ensure the right to fair trial in the Palestinian territories is fully guaranteed and protected for all citizens.