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Launching the Joint Training and AL-MUQTAFI Development Project

 In Cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and UNDP
Birzeit University Celebrates Launching the Joint Training and AL-MUQTAFI Development Project
Birzeit University launched today the Joint Training and Development of the Palestinian Legal and Judicial System (AL-MUQTAFI) Project – an initiative implemented in partnership between the Palestinian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Birzeit University-based Institute of Law (IoL) and Continuing Education Centre. The ceremony was launched in presence of Dr. Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice, Dr. Khalil Hindi, President of Birzeit University, Mr. Maarten Barends, UNDP/PAPP Rule of Law and Access to Justice Programme Manager, and Dr. Munir Qazzaz, Birzeit University Vice-President for Community Affairs.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Khalil Hindi, President of Birzeit University inaugurated the ceremony and welcomed the audience. Highlighting its significance, Dr. Hindi emphasised that the project would contribute to building the state of law, which will consolidate the vision of relevant stakeholders and help them adopt a sound approach towards establishing the right foundations and promoting legal and administrative capacities of public sector employees. In this context, training programmes that take account of the special needs of staff members of various ministries should be in place. Dr. Hindi also shed light on the outstanding importance of the AL-MUQTAFI not only on the local level, but also as a pioneering initiative on the regional level. Dr. Hindi stressed that AL-MUQTAFI should be further developed and upgraded to ensure an easy access to legal information for justice practitioners as well as to positively reflect on materialising the concept of real access to justice. In this context, Dr. Hindi highly appreciated the real partnership between the MoJ and IoL in this project.

Having expressed his gratitude to Birzeit University and UNDP, Dr. Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice, confirmed the need for a continuing cooperation between the government and civil society in order to integrate academic and practical initiatives. In this vein, Dr. Khashan said that MoJ has signed several memorandums of understanding and implemented programmes in partnership with Palestinian universities, including Birzeit University. In particular, Dr. Khashan underlined the national and historical role the Birzeit University has played in Palestine. He also drew attention to MoJ’s concern to develop and build capacities of justice practitioners through the many programmes the Ministry is currently implementing.

Mr. Maarten Barends, UNDP/PAPP Rule of Law and Access to Justice Programme Manager, thanked partners in this projects, including the MoJ and Birzeit University. Mr. Barends pointed up the UNDP’s role in promoting the rule of law and access to justice through various programmes it implements on the ground. Highlighting significance of this project, Mr. Barends also brought attention to the paramount importance of the AL-MUQTAFI and the role it plays in raising legal and judicial awareness in Palestine. Additionally, he commended IoL’s experience in the Palestinian territory and its remarkable role in promoting and developing capacities of PNA cadres through respective training activities.

The work team presented a briefing note about this twofold project: IoL’s Specialised Diploma Programme in Legal Skills and Continuing Education Centre’s Building Capacities of Public Sector Employees. The team members also made a presentation on developing and upgrading AL-MUQTAFI. Housing 15,000 pieces of legislation and 25,000 judicial rulings, AL-MUQTAFI enables users to easily access consolidated legislation along with relevant amendments. It also provides conceptual linking between legislation and relevant judicial rulings.

It is worth noting that AL-MUQTAFI is a fruit of cooperation and concerted efforts made over a period of more than 15 years. AL-MUQTAFI has been funded by several donors, including Konrad Adenauer Stiftung/Ramallah Office, World Bank, European Union, France, Belgium, Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), MoJ, High Judicial Council, Palestinian Legislative Council, and Bureau of Legal Counsel and Legislation.