Palestinian Basic Law
About the site
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The Palestinian Basic Law

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

Recommended reading of relevance to the Basic Law

Abu Amr, Ziad. “The Palestinian Legislative Council: A Critical Assessment,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 26, No. 4, Summer, 1997: 90-97.

Aruri, Naseer and John J. Carroll. “A New Palestinian Charter,” Journal of Palestine Studies Vol. 23, No. 4, Summer 1994: 5-17.

Brown, Nathan J.. Constitutions in a Non-constitutional World: Arab Basic Laws and the Prospects for Accountable Government. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002.

______ Palestinian Politics after the Oslo Accords: Resuming Arab Politics. Berkeley: Unity of California Press, 2003.

______“The Palestinian Reform Agenda”. Peaceworks No. 48. United States Institute of Peace, Washington: December 2002.

______“Evaluating Palestinian Reform”. Carnegie Papers: Middle East Series, No 59, The Carnegie Endowment, Democracy and Rule of Law Program. Washington: June 2005.

______ “What can Abu Mazin do?”, web commentary, Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. Washington: 15 June 2007.

______ “Requiem for Palestinian Reform: Clear Lessons from a Troubled Record”. Carnegie Papers: Middle East Series, No 81. The Carnegie Endowment, Democracy and Rule of Law Program. Washington: February 2007.

Butenschøn, Nils and Vollan, Kåre (eds.). “Interim Democracy,” Human Rights Report, No 7 2006. Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo: 1996.

Butenschøn and Vollan. “Democracy in Conflict: Report on Elections for Local Councils, President, and Legislative Council in the Occupied Palestinian Territiory 2004-2006,” Nordem Special Report 2006, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. University of Oslo: 2006.

Harb, Jihad and Shikaki, Khalil. “Towards a more open and inclusive political system: A return to a presidential system is a return to instability,” executive summary, policy paper by The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, Ramallah: October 2005.

Klein, Menachem. “By Conviction, Not By Infliction: The Internal Debate Over Reforming the Palestinian Authority,” in  Middle East Journal, Vol 57, No 2, spring 2003: 194-212.

Palestinian Independent Commission For Citizens’ Rights. “The Status of Palestinian Citizens’ Rights During 2005”, 11th Annual Report. Ramallah: 2006.

______ “The Status of Palestinian Citizens’ Rights During 2006”, 12th Annual Report. Ramallah: April 2007.

Shikaki, Khalil and Shueibeh, Azmeh. “A Window on the Workings of the PA: An Inside View,” in Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 30, No 1, Autumn 2000: 88-97.¨

Viken, Tonje Merete, “Struggles for Power and Unity: Constitutional Designs in the Palestinian Authority,” unpublished MA thesis, Institute of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. Oslo: 2008.

“The Palestinian Legislative Council: A Handbook,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Washington: 2007.


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.