International Law within the Palestinian Legal System: A Call to Grant Human Rights Treaties a Special Constitutional Status (2020)

The hierarchy of international treaties in each state’s domestic system has to be deduced from its case law, constitution or other indicators. Some constitutions accord international treaties the same constitutional power as ordinary laws, and others give international treaties an infra-constitutional but supra-national status; more progressive constitutions, meanwhile, distinguish HRT from other international treaties, and give the former primacy by elevating them over ordinary law and giving them a constitutional status. Very few constitutions however make conventional international law superior to the constitution. Finally some constitutions, such as Palestine’s, may not address the position of international law within their domestic system at all. This article proposes that Palestinian political and legal decision-makers should grant IHR treaties a special constitutional status. It first determines the hierarchical status that general international treaties have within the current Palestinian legal system and then outlines the comparative experiences of states that do and do not accord IHR treaties a constitutional status. It concludes by presenting political and legal arguments that have been advanced in support of its initial proposal.

Keywords: #International_treaties; #Constitution; #Palestinian_legal_system.

Al-Hihi, Elias & Asem Khalil. International Law within the Palestinian Legal System: A Call for Granting Human Rights Treaties a Special Constitutional Status. Birzeit’s Working Papers Series in Legal Studies. Background Papers Module (6/2020).

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