Palestinian Legal Environment: Challenges & Opportunities for eGovernment Initiatives

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Palestinian Legal Environment: Challenges & Opportunities for eGovernment Initiatives

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Palestinian Legal Environment: Challenges & Opportunities for eGovernment Initiatives

  1. 1. Palestinian Legal EnvironmentChallenges & Opportunities for eGovernment Initiatives Jamil Salem Institute of Law, Birzeit University j.salem@birzeit.edu
  2. 2. I. Evolution of the Palestinian Legal SystemII. Establishment of the Palestinian AuthorityIII. The Legislative Process and the State of ExceptionIV. State of EmergencyV. E-GovernmentVI. E-Government – Legal FrameworkVII. Policy Cycle & ToolsVIII. Al-Muqtafi (Experience of the Institute of Law-Legal Informatics)
  3. 3. The Palestinian Legal System is often characterized as complex since it consists of different layers of colonial codes and rules: Ottoman Rule (1516 – 1917) British Mandate (1918 - 1948) Egyptian Rule over the Gaza Strip (1948 – 1967) Jordanian Rule in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (1948 – 1967) Israeli Occupation (1967- ??) Palestinian Authority (PA) (1994 - !)
  4. 4. II. Inception of the PA (1994 – ) (Oslo Accords) Limited Territorial, Functional and Personal Jurisdiction Occupied Palestinian Territory divided into: a. Area A: Major Cities (Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus, etc) (ca. 18%)  Under Control of the PA b. Area B includes villages and refugee camps (ca. 24%)  Mixed Jurisdiction (PA: civil matters, Israel: security). c. Area C includes the rest of the West Bank (ca. 58%) Under sole Israeli Jurisdiction o Interim Period should have ended in the year 1999. o The Last Colonial Question still unresolved after 43 years of occupation!
  5. 5.  Draft Laws may be proposed by the Government or at least a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Different Committees at PLC General Debate First, Second and Third Readings Promulgation and Publication Legislation enter into force after 30 days of publication in the Palestinian Official Gazette Electronic Publication: Al-Muqtafi at the Institute of Law, Birzeit University in cooperation with the PNA.
  6. 6.  Second Legislative Elections in 2006 and political divsion between Fatah and Hamas PLC paralyzed, since most of its members are in Israeli prisons. President declared state of emergency and started issuing legislation based on Article 43 of the Palestinain Basic Law. Article 43 of the Palestinian Basic Law The President of the National Authority shall have the right, in cases of necessity that cannot be delayed, and when the Legislative Council is not in session, to issue decrees that have the power of law. These decrees shall be presented to the Legislative Council in the first session convened after their issuance; otherwise they will cease to have the power of law. If these decrees are presented to the Legislative Council, as mentioned above, but are not approved by the latter, then they shall cease to have the power of law.
  7. 7. E-Government can be classified into the following areas: Information: Making information available online, for example, on the Web site of a public authority. Communication: The ability to interactively access and exchange information. Transaction: The actual carrying out of services, including the signation of application forms and electronic delivery of official documents and notifications.
  8. 8.  e-Government is an infrastructure that enables electronic services between Government-Government, Government- Business, and Government-Citizen. Freedom of choice for users in selecting the means of communication when contacting with public authorities; Security and improved legal protection provided by appropriate technical measures such as a unique e-card To reduce the cost & complexity of the administrative procedures
  9. 9.  Servers interoperate among each other and exchange data messages. Exchanging data messages is like exchanging documents, but in a digital world. To enable this e-interoperation we need: - National Policies - Legal Framework - Interoperability Framework - Security Framework - Infrastructure
  10. 10. The legal scope of e-Government is not confined to a single law or regulation PNA Other Necessary Legislation E-Transaction and Digital Administrative Procedural Signature Law Law Information Systems Law Intellectual Property & Copyright Privacy & Data protection E-Crimes Law (…) E-Procurement, E- Notary, E-Elections, E- Taxation, (…)
  11. 11.  The law shall regulate the powers, procedures, and acts of public administration. It applies to all public officials and public agencies. (G – G) The law shall lay down the basic principles of administrative procedures. The Act shall regulate the ways with which public authorities and citizens can communicate with each other, such as the transmission of applications by eMail or Web forms. (G – C) Act is not available in Palestine.
  12. 12. How can we authenticate people in the digital world?- Everyone has a unique public key related to him/her. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) develops "model laws" or templates upon which governments can develop their own particular legislation. UNCITRALs Uniform Rules on Electronic Signatures characterize qualified signature technologies in terms of their ability to ensure integrity of content as well as identity of origin. A qualified signature is equal to that of a handwritten signature.
  13. 13.  Different jurisdictions use citizen cards as an electronic identification for the internet. Palestinian Case: ID Cards (each person has a unique ID number!) The citizen card contains a qualified electronic signature that makes it possible to sign forms or contracts which normally require a personal handwritten signature. Public Key Infrastructure is needed in order to allow people use Digital Signatures PKI is a set of hardware, software, policies and procedures needed to create, manage and distribute, store and revoke digital certificates. In addition a Certification Authority is required to give people public and private keys An Act is needed to regulate the mentioned elements.
  14. 14. To regulate the creation and processing of state databases. Can a ministry decide to collect any data? Can a ministry decide to process the data for any purpose? Can a ministry give the data to other ministries? Can a ministry decide not to give data to other ministries. Should ministries follow standards/classifications/codes/names when they register data (like names of cities, countries, medical tests, car brands, etc.) Should ministries follow standard security measures to protect data. …..etc.
  15. 15. To regulate the creation and processing of state databases.We need to regulate the ownership and processing of state databases.What legal act is needed to describe the functions of databases (statute, approved by Government?). For e-government, we need a “database of databases”.  Each ministry should provide metadata about their databases? This database of databases needs to be owned by somebody This body need to audit whether ministries implement this act?
  16. 16. To regulate the processing of data and for what purposes.◦ Can one obtain/store my data for an unclear purpose?◦ Can you process my data for other purposes than we agreed?◦ Can one keep my outdated data?◦ Can one keep my data longer than the necessity period, of the agreed purpose?◦ What measures one should take for accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to personal data?◦ Can one transfer my data for another party (or outside the country) without my permission? and without ensuring that this party follows an adequate level of data protection?◦ What personal data is sensitive/private and what extra measures are needed to protect this data. We need a body to audit organization’s information systems.
  17. 17.  E-Transactions & Digital Signature Act Draft DONE- Information Being Revised Systems Privacy & Act Data Protection Act By a committee of IT and law experts
  18. 18. 1. Ex-Ante Evaluation / Impact Assessment4. Ex-Post General andEvaluation Legislative Policy Policy Review / Policy Assessment Formulation 2. Consultation Communication & Drafting Policy Delivery / Implementation 3. Interim Evaluation
  19. 19.  Developed and maintained at the Institute of Law, Birzeit University. Content: ◦ All Legislation since the Ottoman period ◦ Consolidation of all valid legislation ◦ Court Judgments (since 1994) ◦ More than 2000 Legal Principles and 200 scholarly comments on court judgments. ◦ International Documents about Palestine ◦ Legal Dictionary (A/E) ◦ Legal Thesaurus (A/E) ◦ Legal Ontology (Labour Law): used for integration and semantic interoperability between the legislation and court judgments databases.
  20. 20.  Legislative Harmony in the Legal System Consistency in using Vocabularies and Concepts Semantics Integration and Interoperation of Legal Information Systems Semantic Search Better Understanding of Domain
  21. 21. Thank You for Your Attention Jamil Salem Institute of Law, Birzeit University P.O. Box 14, Birzeit, Palestine j.salem@birzeit.edu

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