Palestinian Documentary Constitutionalism: A Stalled Project (2019)

The drafting and the adoption of a Basic Law for the Palestinian Authority was a drawn-out and laborious process. This written constitution was an achievement: Palestinian political representatives had endorsed the pillars of Constitutionalism, reproducing this commitment within a single written document. This was a single instance of a wider global phenomenon which is referenced in the literature as ‘documentary constitutionalism’.

The expectations that had been invested into the Basic Law when it entered into force soon evaporated. I will suggest that the enthusiasm for a written constitution should be understood with reference to the symbolic appeal of specific principles and values. After presenting documentary constitutionalism, I will then attempt to demonstrate that political practice preceded the entrenchment of rules and institutions necessary for constitutionalism. Finally, I will argue that Documentary Constitutionalism in Palestine has stalled, losing its momentum and impetus.

Keywords: #Constitutionalism; #Palestine; #Basic_Law, #Rule_of_Law.

Khalil, Asem. Palestinian Documentary Constitutionalism: A Stalled Project. Unpublished paper. Final draft in 2019.

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