In a newly published presidential decree, the Palestinian Authority has dramatically revamped its Law of Criminal Procedure. While ostensibly designed to expedite procedures and update the law to reflect technological change, several provisions of the amendments run counter to the Palestinian Authority’s constitutional and international treaty commitments: they extend a broad grant of criminal immunity to public officials; they enable more frequent resort to proceedings in absentia; they abolish challenges to orders revoking pretrial release; they lower the standard of substantiation for statements of another accused; and they narrow the scope of appellate review. These aspects of the new decree-law threaten the rights of the accused and may be easily abused to stifle political activity
.Lawyers for Justice group worked with the American Bar Association to analyze the new decree-law, and to identify the most important new legal risks that threaten the rights of the accused and may be easily abused to stifle political activity.
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