The Palestinian Public Prosecution has concluded its sixth annual conference under the auspices of President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, held in Jericho in the period between 24-26/3/2016 and entitled "The Public Prosecution… Reality and Ambition". All prosecutors from the West Bank were present in the conference, while Gaza Strip Prosecutors were not able to attend due to the current circumstances.
The conference was opened with a speech from Mr. Hasan Al-Ouri, given on behalf of the president, through which he affirmed the presidents support to the public prosecution in its efforts in combating all forms of crime, prosecuting perpetrators, and achieving justice and security for the Palestinian public in light of the complex circumstances in our country on the local, regional and international levels. He also praised the public prosecution's achievements during the past period. Minister of Justice Dr. Ali Abu Dyak also gave a speech on behalf of the Prime Minister in which he affirmed that the Palestinian government will continue to support the public prosecution. speeches were also given by the Chief Justice Sami Sarsour, President of the Anti-Corruption Commission Rafiq Al-Natsheh, the Shariah Courts Chief Justice Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, the Director of Palestinian Civil Police Major General Hazem Atallah, the Chairman of the Palestinain Bar Association Hussein Shabaneh, the Director of UNDP funded Sawasya program Marisa Kemper, as well as the Acting Attorney General Dr. Ahmad Barrak. The conference was attended by members of the PLO Executive Committee and Central Committee, Ministers, Heads of Security Services, Ambassadors and representatives of donors.
The conference reached a number of recommendations, mainly:
1. The public prosecutions adopts president Mahmoud Abbas' and the Palestinian leadership's approaches aiming at ending the occupation and achieving justice and equality before the law without any discrimination or delay. It also stresses on its technical and logistic readiness for the requirements of the coming period despite the complexities created by the occupation.
2. The Palestinian public prosecution stresses on the importance of trying Israeli war criminals for all the crimes they committed against the Palestinian people. It supports all efforts in this regards and praises the efforts of the national committee on the ICC. The Public Prosecution stresses on its readiness to prepare files in order to submit them to the ICC.
3. Activate the specialized prosecution offices, such as the Juveniles Prosecution, particularly after the Law on Juveniles was adopted; the Family Protection from Violence Prosecution; the Government Cases Prosecution; the Technical Office; and the Enforcement of Decisions.
4. After the discussions that took place in the conference, there seems to be an urgent need to amend the Anti-Narcotics Law, the latest amendment on the Penal Procedures Law, and the Law on Children.
5. Stress on the HJC recommendation to amend the Law on the Judicial Authority, and stress that the public prosecution is part of the judicial authority.
6. Speed the adoption of the following draft laws: the Domestic Violence Law, the Cyber Crimes Law, and the Penal Law.
7. Praise the role of donors working through several projects with the public prosecution and encourage other donors to support the newly established prosecutions and offices.
8. The public prosecution affirms that it will continue to develop the administrative aspect of its work in order to speed completion of administrative matters, establish the electronic M&E system, include district prosecution offices in the public prosecution's strategic plan, and continue development of infrastructure and taking into account gender considerations and human rights.
9. Provide the public prosecution with the necessary human resources in accordance with the request made to the Ministry of Finance given the shortage in the public prosecution's staff.
10. Ask the HJC to speed the formation of the joint judicial inspection committee between the public prosecution and judiciary.
11. The necessity of speeding the activation of specialized offices in order to activate new laws, such as addiction treatment centers and homes and shelters for juveniles and victims of violence.
12. Build on the strong relations between the public prosecution and all partners at the different ministries, government institutions, and judicial police in order to guarantee complementary relations and serve best interests.
13. Build on the interactive role between the public prosecution and the police and other security services in the proper application of the law, which should guarantee efficient application of public right in penalization and maintaining human rights.
14. The public prosecution stresses on the importance of promoting relations with partners from the financial crimes task force, which should promote the capacities of the task force members in combating such crimes that are increasingly endangering the national economy and security of the Palestinian society, and recommend the necessity of establishing specialized economic courts.
15. The public prosecution stresses on the importance of providing sufficient support to departments involved in maintaining public funds at the AGO, in order for them to duly apply the law and perform their duties.
16. The public prosecution stresses on the importance of protecting Palestinian families from violence and providing protection and preventive measures to women and all vulnerable categories including the disabled and elderly. And it stresses on the necessity of having specialized judiciary and prosecution for such cases. the public prosecution also stresses on having partnerships with civil society organizations in this regard.
At the end of this conference, the public prosecution takes the opportunity to extend its gratitude and appreciation to President Mahmoud Abbas for his unlimited support to the public prosecution and promoting the rule of law. It also takes this opportunity to extend its appreciation to all members of the justice sector, partner institution and civil society, particularly the UNDP funded Sawasya program which funded this conference.
Acting Attorney General
Dr. Ahmad Barrak