Joint call for West Bank links

THE LAW Society and the Bar Council should establish both formal and informal links with the legal profession in the West Bank, Jericho and the Gaza Strip, a new report says.

Prepared by human rights lawyers, barrister Bill Bowring and solicitor Geoffrey Bindman, the report documents the pair's visit to the area in July.

They say building links with the region would promote the rule of law and the enforcement of human rights.

The report says the West Bank and Gaza Strip have incompatible legal systems – one based on British and Egyptian law and the other on Jordanian law. Citizens are unsure which side has legal responsibility in the case of human rights violations in autonomous areas.

It claims human rights violations by Israeli authorities in the former Occupied Territories highlight the “inadequacy” of the safeguards embodied in the Oslo and Cairo agreements.

“The failure of these agreements to commit Israel to fulfil its state obligations under international humanitarian or human rights law is a serious shortcoming,” says the report.