This book is the first comprehensive examination of UN efforts to protect Palestinian human rights in the territories occupied by Israel more than 50 years ago in the 1967 War. Working through the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, three top international legal experts – Richard Falk, John Dugard and Michael Lynk – served for six consecutive years as unpaid Special Rapporteurs with a UN mandate to report on Israeli violations of international humanitarian law and human rights standards. Being outside the discipline that controls UN bureaucrats, they enjoyed a high measure of political independence in carrying out their factfinding and reporting missions. Strikingly, despite their differences in background and political outlook, they came to a unanimous consensus confirming the routine and various Israeli violations of Palestinian basic rights.
This book recounts their frustrations, their trials, their experiences, and their conclusions. It provides an authoritative go-to resource, tracing in painstaking detail, in all its aspects, one of the most onerous, longstanding and abusive human rights situations facing the United Nations. Underscoring the importance of this mandate as providing an independent witness to the evolving deleterious effects of the continuing occupation of Palestine by Israel, Protecting Human Rights in Occupied Palestine provides a documented, comprehensive record of violations by Israel and its ongoing defiance of international law and UN resolutions. It is likely to be the book of record on this subject.
Foreword is by Francesca Albanese, the current UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestine Territory occupied since 1967.
Richard Falk is a leading international law professor, prominent activist, prolific author, and a pioneer thinker dedicated to peace and justice. During forty years at Princeton University Falk was active in seeking an end to the Vietnam War, a better understanding of Iran, a just solution for Israel/Palestine, and improved democracy in South Korea, South Africa, India, and the Philippines. He also served as UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine. His books include This Endangered Planet, A Study of Future Worlds; Power Shift, Revisiting the Vietnam War, Palestine Horizon, On Nuclearism. In 2010 he was named Outstanding Public Scholar in Political Economy by the International Studies Association. Since 2009 he has been nominated annually for the Nobel Peace Prize.
John Dugard is a South African who lives in The Hague, Netherlands. He holds law degrees from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cambridge. In South Africa he directed the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, attached to the University of the Witwatersrand, which engaged in human rights advocacy, research and litigation during the apartheid years. More recently he has taught at the Universities of Cambridge and Leiden. He served as a member of the UN International Law Commission from 1997 to 2011, and as a judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice from 2000 to 2018. He has chaired two international fact-finding missions into violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. From 2001 to 2008 he was UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He has written extensively on human rights and apartheid in South Africa, Namibia and Palestine. His memoir Confronting Apartheid. A Personal History of South Africa, Namibia and Palestine was published in 2018.
Michael Lynk is a law professor at Western University in London, Ontario, where he teaches labour law, domestic and international human rights law and constitutional law. He has law degrees from Dalhousie University and Queen’s University in Canada. He started his legal career as a labour lawyer, acting primarily for trade unions. Later, he became a labour arbitrator and mediator, and presently serves as an arbitrator for the Ontario Grievance Settlement Board. He has published extensively on Canadian labour law and human rights law. In 1989, he worked with the United Nations in Jerusalem on refugee and human rights issues. As an academic, he has published a number of articles on the application of international law to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In 2016, Professor Lynk was selected by the United Nations Human Rights Council as the 7th Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.
Dr. Ardi Imseis (moderator) is Assistant Professor of Law, Queen’s University. Imseis is author of the United Nations and the Question of Palestine: Rule by Law and the Structure of international Legal Subalternity (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Between 2002 and 2014, Imseis served in senior legal and policy capacities with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. He has provided expert testimony in his personal capacity before the UN Security Council on multiple occasions. His other scholarship has appeared in a wide array of international journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law, the Harvard International Law Journal, and the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. Imseis is former Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Yearbook of International Law (Brill; 2008-2019), Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Human Rights Fellow, Columbia Law School. He holds a Ph.D. (Cambridge), LL.M. (Columbia), LL.B. (Dalhousie), and B.A. (Hons.) (Toronto).