Institute of Law- Birzeit University
Established in 1993, the Institute of Law (IoL) at Birzeit University is one of the main components that contribute to updating necessary legal infrastructures in Palestine as well as building human and institutional capacities on the academic and professional levels. IoL has attained an in-depth understanding of the legislative, legal and judicial fields in Palestine. In addition, IoL has developed an ability to define needs, propose solutions and carry out relevant expedient projects. IoL conducts research, issues publications, and constitutes a centre for legal information. The Institute of Law (IoL) constitutes a centre for legal research, continuing legal education, and legal information. With its demonstrated expertise, extensive resources in the fields of Palestinian Law and international laws affecting the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the IoL serves as a focal centre for information, scholarly and applied research on rule of law related issues in Palestine. The IoL has extensive international connections, and capitalized on the internalization of international expertise in several areas including legislative drafting, legal information technology, and continuing legal and judicial education. Moreover, the IoL serves as a neutral forum for interaction and debate on legal issues, especially of concerns to legal development and the legal community in the region. Relevant individuals and organizations from all over the world take part in these forums. Thus it challenges jurists, political scientists and educators to think systematically and creatively about the problems of the legal system in Palestine. In this framework, the IoL conducts applied legal research and publishes the findings in order to promote awareness and encourage constructive dialogue concerning legal reform. The IoL has worked as a venue in which academics and professionals may think systematically and creatively about the challenges facing legal institutions in Palestine. In order to do this, the IoL adopts the following strategies:
Research and publishing: This includes the publication of the Palestine Yearbook of International Law, and conducting of in-depth research in the fields of law and society, law and economy, constitutional law and human rights and legislative assistance.
Legal education (including CLE):IoL researchers teach law and human rights courses, and the IoL also offers diploma programs for young lawyers and government staff on practical lawyering skills and legislative drafting, respectively. The IoL also offers CLE programs for judges, prosecutors and public sector employees, and facilitates dialogue on legal, constitutional and human rights developments through conferences and public seminars.
ICT and Law: the IoL has been active in the legal and human rights fields since its establishment, with the Al-Muqtafi legal databank being its main ICT tool used to collect and allow public access to applicable laws and court judgments. The IoL’s vision of the Al-Muqtafi is that it should transform from a passive tool to a social action-friendly tool, which people can consult, as they do now, but can also use as a proactive two-way communication and networking tool, in support of corrective legal, policy and legislative action.
Vision: A research center providing high-quality, theoretical and applied, interdisciplinary legal research, authoritatively referenced with respect to legal developments, nationally and regionally, and renowned for providing legal cadres with skills and knowledge necessary for contributing to improved respect for human dignity, human rights and the rule of law.
Mission: To improve and develop domestic and regional legal and judicial infrastructures of the justice sector and broader society through high-quality theoretical, applied and interdisciplinary research, institutional capacity building, rehabilitated human resources, consolidated legal sensitisation, promoted legislative drafting and legal skills, and free access to legal and judicial information using best practice and most advanced techniques.