Today, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and European Union Representative Ralph Tarraf inaugurated the Dura courthouse in Hebron. The new, fully functioning, 5000 square meters courthouse is now serving thousands of Palestinians living in Dura and surrounding communities.
Rule of law and democracy are founding principles of the European Union and, as an independent judiciary is a tenet of democratic systems, there is growing evidence that fair and effective justice are crucial enablers for democracy and equality. Thus far, the European Union has invested over EUR 28 million in support of the Palestinian justice sector. This support aims to improve the quality of the judicial services to better serve Palestinian citizens.
"Justice is a prevailing virtue that benefits any society, be it the family, the community, a nation, or the world. Achieving justice is more complicated and difficult than it might seem at the start. However, it inevitably leads to a safer society for everyone, and in our case for every Palestinian," said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf at the inauguration ceremony. "In Palestine, justice has developed throughout the years to benefit and protect all members of its society. We are confident that the Palestinian Authority will continue to work to enhance the judicial system. The EU support to the justice sector further complements our vision of the two-state solution and support to building a future democratic, transparent and accountable Palestinian State", he added.
In addition to the new Dura courthouse, the EU has been supporting the construction and equipment of new courthouses in Qalqiliya, Salfit, and the expansion of Jenin courthouse. Qalqiliya courthouse is now operational, while Salfit courthouse will be shortly handed over to the Higher Judicial Council.
Aside from infrastructure, the EU is supporting the Palestinian Authority in the field of legal aid, judicial affairs and the overall administration of justice. The EU also supports the development of the legal education system through the Palestinian Judicial Institute, the Bar Association and Palestinian Universities.