Promoting Good Governance (2002)

Another focus of PASSIA’s Civil Society Empowerment project was Promoting Good Governance. The project was based on the notion that the achievement of good governance (transparency, accountability, rule of law, minority rights and ab­sence of corruption) is a learning process that could be most effectively assisted by capitalizing upon the experiences of other emerging democracies or states in tran­sition. It aimed to help develop a responsive, effi­cient and credi­ble public sector, with a transparent legal system and independent judicial institutions. The latter was par­ticular important given the fact that in countries transitioning to democracy, and the Palestinian case is a good example, the system is often weak and torn between in­compatible institutional mandates and traditions. Moreo­ver there is often a ten­dency to revert to more familiar patterns of authoritarianism – as displayed in the neighboring Arab states - and abuse of power rather than fostering the rule of law.


The project was a combination of research and workshops to analyze both the Pales­tinian democratization experience as well as the lessons and pitfalls of other coun­tries in their attempts to promote and introduce concepts of participation, decen­tralization, accountability, transparency and rule of law.


As part of the project, a resource database was put together, containing informa­tion about experts and expertise in the field of ‘Good Governance’, which was made accessible via PASSIA’s website.


The other project component - a series of intensive workshops - examined Pal­estine’s experience to date as well as that of other countries with regard to the following four major topics: The Rule of Law, Democracy and Democratization, Decen­tralization and Local Government, and State-Society Re­lations.


For each of these sub-topics three (series of) sessions were held beginning with pre­paratory or brainstorming meetings, in which local civil society practitioners, rights activists etc. identified existing work under­taken locally in the subject area as well as the main topics to focus on with regard to the Pales­tinian case. Based on the results of these sessions, explicit topics for the second session were selected and respective possible expert speakers approached and invited.


The second set of sessions included speakers from other emerging democracies to address a given topic. Based on this in-depth look at the best practices other states in transition developed, their failures, missed opportunities, and lessons learned, it was hoped to find successful ways to tackled the problems ahead for the Palestinian case.


A third set of sessions then discussed the results of the previous meetings with lo­cally concerned people and prepared recommendations and ways how to introduce and implement the necessary policies at a national Palestinian level.




7 March 2002, PASSIA

The Rule of Law in the Palestinian Judicial and Political System

(Brainstorming Session 1)

Participant(s): Raffoul Rofa, St. Yves Society, Jerusalem; Khalil Ansara, Financial Mar­kets International (FMI), Ramallah; Jonathan Kuttab, Al-Haq, Jerusalem; Khalil Tu­fakji, Arab Studies Society, Jerusalem; Khaled Abu Alia, Civic Forum, Ar-Ram; Walid Assali, Lawyer, Jerusalem; Mohammed Jadallah, Jerusalem Development Center, Jerusalem; Omar Dajani, UNSCO, Gaza; Elias Khoury, Lawyer, Jerusalem; Tamer Maliha, Lawyer, Jerusalem.




14 March 2002, PASSIA

The Rule of Law in the Palestinian Judicial and Political System

(Brainstorming Session 2)

Participant(s): Ellen Kelly, Rule of Law Project Manager, USAID Mission, Tel Aviv; Deirdre Connolly, UNDP, Jerusalem; Bill Docherty, Society of St. Yves, Jerusalem; Meejeong Hong, Lecturer, Kyunghee University, Tokyo; Raffoul Rofa, Society of St. Yves, Jerusalem; Phillip Walker, Lawyer, Director of Amideast’s Law Project, Jeru­salem; Mohammed Abu Harthieh, Human Rights Advocacy Activist Lawyer, Jerusa­lem; Michael Keating, UNSCO, Gaza; Omar Dajani, UNSCO, Gaza.




16 April 2002, PASSIA

Rule of Law in the Palestinian Judiciary and Political System

Speaker: Omar Dajani, Regional Affairs Officer, UNSCO, Gaza

Participant(s): Mohammed Abu Harthiyeh, Human Rights Lawyer; Philip Walker, Amideast, Lawyer; Ellen Kelly, USAID Mission, Lawyer; Martha Myers, USAID Mis­sion; Elias Khoury, Lawyer; Raffoul Rofa, Society of St. Yves, Lawyer, Jumna Abu Ziad, British Consulate.



12 May 2002, PASSIA

The Concept of the Rule of Law and Islam

Participant(s): Sheikh Jamil Hamami, Sheikh Yacoub Sabanih, Fadi Hidmi.



18 June 2002, PASSIA

Community Participation/Involvement in Fostering Rule of Law Ideas

Participant(s): Walid Salem, Fadi Hidmi.



27 August 2002, PASSIA

The Palestinian Constitution and the Rule of Law

Speaker(s): Mohammed Dahleh, Advocate

Participant(s): Nader Al-‘Aaser, Egyptian Consul, Bernard Seneria, Judge; Lopez Guerra, Professor; Rami Shehadeh, Legal Advisor; Marc Gerritsen, Policy Officer, Netherlands Representative Office; Amjad Atallah, Attorney; Hanlie Booysen, Head, South African Representative Office; Glenn Robinson, Professor; Ellen Kelly, USAID Mission; Sarah Ewane, British Council; Arafat Hidmi, Physician, Maqassed Hospital; Michael Ohnmacht, Political Affairs, German Representative Office; Sophie GuericheDevelopment Officer, European Commission; Elise Aghazarian; Wulf F. Roener, Judge.



5 September 2002, Ambassador Hotel

Expert Meeting on: The Rule of Law Application and Transfer to Democracy in South Africa

Speaker(s): Leon Wessels, Advocate, Member of the South African Human Rights Commission, South Africa




16 September 2002, PASSIA

The Rule of Law and Democratization Efforts in Palestine

Participant(s): Walid Salem, Panorama, Jerusalem; Dr. Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, PASSIA, Elise Aghazarian, PASSIA.



30 September, 2002, PASSIA

Towards a Culture of Democracy in Palestine

(Brainstorming Session 1)

Participant(s): Wayne Primeau, Deputy Representative, Canadian Representative Office; Fatima Anan, Jerusalem Center for Women; Abdel Rahman Abu Arafeh, Director, Arab Thought Forum; Maha Abu dayyeh Shamas, Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling; Safa' Abu Assab, Diakonia; Mustafa Abu Sway, Professor, Al-Quds University; Felix Eikenberg, Friedrich Ebert Foundation



6 November 2002, PASSIA

The South African Experience: Rule of Law, Political Vision & Future Solutions

Participant(s): Terry Boullata, Head of School; Nedal Ismail, Canadian Representative Office; Volker Trushon, student; Michèle Auga, FES; Khader Abu Alia, teacher; Musa Dweik, Assistant Professor; Niall Holohan, Irish Representative Office; Leila Hilal, Negotiation Support Unit; Kogila Hudler, University of Colombia, Canada; Hanlie Booysen, South African Representative Office; Audrey Bomse, Attorney; Christa Clamer, École Biblique; Mustafa Abu Sway, Professor; José Fonseca, Portu­guese Representative Office; Saman Khoury, Media advisor; Nora Carmi, Sabeel; Amneh Badran, Jerusalem Center for Women.





19 December 2002, PASSIA

Culture of Democracy in Palestine

(Brainstorming Session 2)

Participant(s): Suranjana Gupta, Research and Policy Advisor, Groots International, USA; Abdel Rahman Abu-Arafeh, Director, Arab Thought Forum; Ibrahim Sha’ban, Lecturer; Muhammed Dajani, Director, Technical Assistance and Training Depart­ment, PECDAR; Terry Bullata, Jil Al-Jadid School and Women Studies Center, Jeru­salem; Felix Eikenberg, Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FEF); Natasha Khalidi, Projects Coordinator, Jerusalem Center for Women; Tomoko Watonabe. PhD Candidate, Japan; Chie Ezaki, PhD Candidate, University of Tsakuba, Japan; Elise Aghazarian, Project Coordinator, PASSIA.