News & Activites 14 February 2018
ICHR Welcomes the Designation of Police Force as Regular Civil Force and Regrets Failure to Adopt Some of its Remarks on the Police Law Decree.
Ramallah- ICHR (The Independent Commission for Human Rights) expresses its satisfaction with what was laid out in the decree pertinent to 2017 Police Law # 23 and views it as favorable development. Considering the police service as a regular civil force comes in harmony with the nature of its assigned civil duties; mainly represented in fighting crimes and protecting rights and freedoms.
It is worth mentioning that ICHR in addition to a group of international experts and several Palestinian civic society institutions had sent earlier a legal memo to the President of Palestine, recommending the consideration of the police force as a regular civil force instead of a military or hybrid force.
Classifying the police service as a civil force, whose members would be held accountable before regular judiciary, responds to the best international practices and standards, including the United Nations General Assembly Resolution # 34/169 on Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.
ICHR praise the issuance of this long overdue police regulation law decree as it fills the existing legislative gap. notwithstanding the important role the police service plays and its direct contact with the citizens’ rights and freedoms, it was the only security service that had had no legal framework regulating its work, and defining its roles and responsibilities, duties of its members and mechanisms of holding them accountable, thus promoting respect and implementation of principles of human rights, as well as principles of transparency and integrity of its work.
Despite the significance of the existence of a legal framework to govern the work of the police force, ICHR regrets the failure to adopt its remarks on the previous drafts of the Police Decree Law pertaining to inclusion of clear articles on prevention of torture and its criminalization. This is in addition to inadequate articles pertaining to the use of force and arms, promotion of the principles of holding accountability and internal monitoring, regulation of powers, considered preventive measures granted to the police service, as a law enforcement body under the supervision of the public prosecutor’s office.
It is worth noting that President Mahmoud Abbas signed the police decree –law on Dec. 26, 2017 that consequently was published in the Palestine Gazette on Dec. 31. 2017 and entered into force on the date of its publication.
January 4, 2018