Too much, too soon? The long-lasting story of the Palestinians.

Authors: Sanaa Alsarghali*,
Topics: Middle East, Legal Geography
Keywords: Palestine, Constitution, Statehood, Democracy, Occupation
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

It is common for students of constitutional law in Palestine to ask whether ‘the Basic Law is worth the paper that [it] is written on’. Hence, law students start their relationship with constitutional law with the impression that their training is worthless. For some it may seem that the Basic Law (BL) or any constitutional developments in Palestine are not a pressing concern compared to the political instability that Palestine is facing, or that there are more immediate matters to build or focus on rather than a constitution. With respect to this view, constitutional law matters. It matters especially in a place that faces a double transition like Palestine; a transition to democracy and a transition to statehood. A constitution may not build a school or educate a child, but it guarantees the right to education and worthy facilities i.e. paving the way for the application of these rights. If a constitution only guarantees right without applying them, then it is arguably worthless, existing only as a 'paper' constitution. In this paper, I discuss the potential structure of a state that remains under occupation and the internal processes involved in constitutional building. Measures which could be an effective tool in the internal conciliation without seeking international interference and would also shed light on what Palestinians truly seek in their upcoming state.

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