The Politics of Legal Reform in Palestine

After briefly reviewing the legal systems in the West Bank and Gaza from 1948 until the Oslo agreements, the author examines the major obstacles to creating a viable legal system in Palestine. These are the difficulties in unifying two distinct legal systems--the continental, Jordanian system in the West Bank, and the Anglo-Saxon, common law system in Gaza-- and the blurred lines of authority. The author argues that the Palestinian legal sector, where decision making has been characterized by uncertainty, diktat, and personalism, can be seen as a microcosm of PA politics. In both the legal sector and in general the PA has created a "politics of antithesis" to consolidate its own power.

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