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The Palestinian Bar Association Council is boycotting the PA criminal courts after a number of violations were reported including undue detention and lack of neutrality

Headline: “The Bar Association Council boycotts the criminal courts today”


“The Bar Association Council decided last night [Dec. 25, 2021] to boycott the [PA] criminal courts today. The Bar Association Council announced in an official statement that it is in a state of constant alert and monitoring after the continuous developments regarding the criminal courts. [This was] after a number of violations were reported by a number of lawyers and civilians.

The official statement calls on all members of the [Bar Association Council’s] general body to be committed to the boycott today, excluding requests to extend imprisonment and requests for release on bail.

The statement explained that the Bar Association Council submitted more than one request to the head of the Supreme Judicial Council on this issue.

It was also explained in the statement that the reason for the boycott is ‘recurring complaints that reached the association from lawyers, civilians, detainees, and prisoners, and the doubt regarding the manner in which the criminal courts are managing criminal cases, which is based on a logic of incrimination prior to hearing the evidence, and this is done in coordination with the defendants and their representatives during the legal hearing and before the final verdict is issued.This matter removes the judicial authority from the place of neutrality it is supposed to have, which ensures a just and transparent trial that gives the defendant the natural right of defense that is promised to him. [Another reason for the boycott is connected] to a matter that is no less important – The manner of treating requests for release on bail [that] are answered with refusals without explanation, without there being any objective reason necessitating continued detention, which also completely violates the justifications for limiting freedoms and for detaining people, in a manner that violates the constitutional principles that ensure the right to freedom and the presumption of innocence of the defendant.

This has caused detention to become the routine procedure and not an extraordinary event.

In light of this doubt on the manner in which the criminal lawsuits are being managed – which undermines the scales of justice, particularly in the work of the criminal courts, and especially on everything connected to the series of amendments that harm the judicial authority law – and which the civil society, and within it the Bar Association, have announced that they oppose. There is no doubt that these amendments cast a shadow on the independence of the judge individually and organizationally.’”

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