Palestinian Basic Law
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The Palestinian Basic Law

A collection of various propsals and amendments to the Basic Law of Palestine.

PLC Standing Orders

Standing Orders for the Palestinian Legislative Council. 

Non Official translation by ARD.



The Palestinian people in Palestine have expressed, through general free and direct elections,
their determination to follow democratic rules in building their institutions and in exercising
their national sovereignty.

Those elections have led to the birth of the first Palestinian Legislative Council of the
Palestinian National Authority.

On that basis, it is necessary to establish the principles for the elected Legislative Council to
develop its work, based on the principle of separation of powers, which confirms the
independence of the legislative authority and its right to legislate and to control and inspect
the works of the Executive Authority.

These Standing Orders have been established in order to organize the functioning of the
Council, and regulate its acts, including the election of its organs, its decision making
process, and its legislative procedures, as a first step necessary to reach national
independence, the construction of an advanced democratic society, and the exercise of
sovereignty on the homeland.

The provision of these Standing Orders guarantees the freedom /of formation of
parliamentary blocks/ the freedom of opinion and expression, the freedom of opposition and
constructive criticism, and the achievement of comprehensive cooperation between the
Council and other constitutional institutions.

Article 1


In these Standing Orders, the following expression shall have the meanings mentioned
below, unless stated otherwise:

  1. The Council: the Palestinian Legislative Council
  2. The President of National Authority: The President of the PNA
  3. The Speaker: The Speaker (Raees) of the Palestinian Legislative
  4. The Council of Ministers: The Council of Ministers of the PNA.
  5. The Office of the Council: The Office of the /presidency of/ Palestinian Legislative
  6. The Member : Elected PLC member.
  7. Constitution: The Basic Law of the Authority for the interim
  8. The Secretariat: The Secretary General and his or her assistants
    staff in the secretariat.
  9. Absolute Majority: 50% + 1 of the number of PLC members present when voting is
  10. Council Absolute Majority: 50% +1 of all PLC members
  11. Relative Majority: Majority of voters regardless of the number of members present.
  12. Two-third majority: Majority of at least two-thirds of PLC members.

Chapter 1 – The Initial Meeting

Article 2

(A) The President of the PNA shall call the meeting of the first ordinary term to take place at
the beginning of the second week following the publication of the official results of the
elections. He shall open the meeting and address a general speech to the Council.

(B) The Council shall at its first meeting elect the office of the Council. The position of the
Temporary Speaker shall be filled by the oldest member. The secretarial work shall be
performed by the youngest member. If for any reason, anyone of them could not fulfill
his/ her duties then he is replaced by the next oldest / youngest member. Their duties
come to an end by the election of the office of the Council.

(C) No discussion shall be held before the election of the Office of the Council.

Article 3

Each Member individually shall swear the oath of office before the Council at the first
meeting, as follows:

«I swear before Almighty God to be faithful to the nation of
Palestine, to keep the rights and interests of the people and
nation, to respect the Constitution and to fulfill my duties to the
best of my ability, as God is my witness.»

Chapter 2 –
Election and Functions of The Office of the Council

Parliamentary Blocks

Article 4

The Office of the Council shall consist of the Speaker, two Deputy Speakers, and the
Secretary General, who shall be elected by the Council /in its first session/ by secret ballot.
The Office shall serve until the beginning of the next period of sessions of the Council.
Vacancies shall be filled by election to be held according to articles (8,9,10) of this Bylaws.

Chapter Three –
Parliamentary Blocks

Article 5

Members with common goals and interests may gather or organize in parliamentary blocks

provided that their number shall not be less than 5% of the total PLC members.

Article 6

No member shall be allowed to be part of more than one parliamentary block.

Article 7

Every parliamentary block shall have the right to set its own internal by-laws, provided that

they do not contradict with the provisions of this standing orders and law.

Article 8 – Election of the Speaker

The Temporary Office of the Council shall, with the approval of the Council, select three
PLC members, who are not candidates, to help the Temporary Office count and sort votes.

Each Member of the Council shall be given a paper on which to write the name of the
candidates of his or her choice for the Speaker. The Temporary Speaker shall call members
one by one to place their paper in person. The candidate who receives the absolute majority
of shall be declared elected. Otherwise, the Council shall proceed to a second round of
voting, only between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the
first round. A relative majority is sufficient at this stage. The Candidate who receives more
votes shall be declared elected. A tie shall be resolved by lot, and the Temporary Speaker
shall announce the result of the Speaker’s election.

Article 9 – Election of the two Speaker’s Deputies and Secretary General

The two Deputy Speakers and the Secretary General of the Council shall then be elected,
following the same procedure as for the election of the Speaker. The Temporary Speaker
shall then invite the elected Office of the Council to assume its responsibilities.

Article 10 – Resignation from the Office of the Council

  1. The speaker or any of his deputies or the secretary general has the
    right to submit their resignation from the office of the council .
  2. The resignation should be submitted in written to the office of the
    Council .
  3. The office of the council should submit the request of resignation
    to the Council in the next session which shall not be later than two
    weeks from the date of submitting the resignation
  4. A resignation could be withdrawn before it is submitted to the
    Council .
  5. Vacancies in the office of the council should be filled according to
    the rulings of this bylaw .

Article 11

The office of the council shall entrust a general secretariat headed by the secretary general to
supervise all the legal, administrative, financial, media, foreign relations, public relations and
protocol affairs. It will be also responsible for implementing the Council’s decisions and
report them to concerned agencies, in addition to being responsible for the minutes of
sessions, record keeping.

Article 12

The Speaker shall represent the Council and speak on its behalf implement its will, and shall
observe the implementation of the Basic Law and Standing Orders, and shall preserve its
security and organization. The Speaker shall open, preside over, direct, control and
announce the close of its meetings. The Speaker shall give the right to speak, shall decide
the agenda of the Council, and shall authorize the Secretariat to publish the decisions of the
Council. Generally, the Speaker shall ensure that the works of the Council progress well,
and supervise all of its relations.

The Speaker may participate in the discussions. She shall vacate the chair while doing so.

Article 13

If the Speaker is absent, or is participating in the discussions of the Council, the chair shall
be taken by his first Deputy Speaker, if the First Deputy Speaker is also absent, the chair
shall be taken by the Second Deputy Speaker, or in his/her absence by the oldest Member
of the Council.

Article 14

No Member of the Office of the Council shall be eligible to be a Minister or to hold any
other governmental position.

Article 15 – Government and Ministerial Statement

(A) After the President of the PNA selects members of the Council of Ministers, they will be
introduced in a special session for vote of confidence after hearing their Ministerial
statement, which specifies the program and policy of the government.

(B) In case the Council votes by absolute majority against giving confidence to the members of the Council of Ministers, or to any of them, then the President of the National
Authority will submit a replacement in the second session, which shall not be later than
two weeks from the date of first session.

(C) Upon conducting a Ministerial adjustment, or filling the vacant position for any reason,
the new Ministers will be introduced to the
Council in its first session convened for vote of confidence.

(D) No minister can assume his responsibilities before the vote of confidence.


Facts about the Basic Law

The Palestinian Basic Law is to function as a temporary constitution for the Palestinian Authority until the establishment of an independent state and a permanent constitution for Palestine can be achieved.

The Basic Law was passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1997 and ratified by President Yasser Arafat in 2002. It has subsequently been amended twice; in 2003 the political system was changed to introduce a prime minister. In 2005 it was amended to conform to the new Election Law. The 2003 reform was comprehensive and affected the whole nature of the Palestinian political system, whereas the 2005 amendment was only minor and affected only a few paragraphs.

A parallel effort has been made to draft a permanent Palestinian constitution for an independent state, but this was shelved in favor of amending the existing Basic Law.

About this site

This website presents a collection of various drafts and amendments related to the Basic Law and other constitutional texts that have been compiled from various other sources.

You can also expect to find links to news items and reports that are of relevance to Palestinian constitutional law, the electoral framework, political reform and the PA branches of government.

The website was created by the Norwegian journalists Erik Bolstad and Tonje M. Viken in February 2008. The site is a private initiative and has no affiliation to any organizations or authorities.

All external links are purely for information purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of this site.

Information and contact details.