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Concluding a Series of Expert Meetings about the Equal Participation of Women in Public Life

  • Sept. 20, 2020

    The Palestinian Supreme Constitutional Court, in partnership with An-Najah's Constitutional Studies Centre (NCSC), and the Association of Women Media and Development (TAM) concluded a series of expert meetings titled: “Equal Participation of Women in Public Life" (My Constitution Should Include Me Campaign). The meetings were held over three days at the Constitutional Court in Ramallah via Zoom platform.

    The meetings brought together the President and judges of the Supreme Constitutional Court, and constitutional experts from different countries. The meetings covered different topics including constitutional courts, human rights, types of judicial interpretation, and the role of constitutional courts in the declaration and extension of the country's state of emergency.

    The first meeting started by the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Prof. Muhammad Al-Hajj Qasim opening speech who welcomed the attendees and all the constitutional experts who joined the meeting. Prof. Qasim mentioned that the meeting aims at spotting light on the Palestinian Constitutional Court under occupation and/or in politically and socially difficult circumstances. He also stressed on the importance of the cooperation between the University's Constitutional Studies Centre (NCSC), TAM, and the Constitutional Court. 

    In turn, Dr. Sanaa Alsarghali, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law and Director of the Constitutional Studies Centre (NCSC) at An-Najah University, referred to the importance of holding regular meetings with prominent constitutional law experts. "It is important to stay informed and keep up to date with recent comparative research on constitutional control/review" Said Dr. Alsarghali.

    She added: "Today we are in the midst of a constitution- building- process in Palestine, which must include the participation of all constitutional institutions, including the Supreme Constitutional Court, which plays an important role in the development of constitutional building in Palestine, and a milestone in the constitution – building process."

    The first meeting included three sessions about different topics in the constitutional law. It included a presentation about the role of constitutional courts in the declaration and extension of the country's state of emergency, the state of emergency in modern constitutions, and international best practice standards on the declaration, implementation, and renewal of the state of emergency. The presentation was given by Dr. Francesco Biagi, Senior Assistant Professor of Comparative Public Law at the Department of Legal Studies of the University of Bologna, Italy.

    Different topics were also covered and discussed during the second and third days of the meetings. It included the participation of a group of legal experts from the Constitution Transformation Network (CTN) at the University of Melbourne including Prof. Cheryl Saunders,  Professor of Constitutional Law and President Emeritus of CTN and Dr. Tom Daly, Associate Professor in Comparative Constitutional Law at Melbourne University.

    These meetings were part of the “Equal Participation of Women in Public Life” (My Constitution Should Include Me) campaign, and in partnership with An-Najah's Constitutional Studies Centre (NCSC), the Supreme Constitutional Court, and the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) with the support of the African Women's Development Fund (AWDF). The campaign aims to contribute to the development and formulation of a comprehensive Palestinian constitution that takes into account gender equality and is based on international human rights treaties.