HaMoked to the head of the civil administration: inducing Palestinians to sign undertakings while circumventing their lawyers is a severe violation of their right to counsel המוקד להגנת הפרט
30.05.2015
HaMoked to the head of the civil administration: inducing Palestinians to sign undertakings while circumventing their lawyers is a severe violation of their right to counsel
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In handling complaints by Palestinians, HaMoked presents to the Israeli authorities the complainants’ powers of attorney, establishing that HaMoked acts as their legal counsel. However, in May 2015, HaMoked came across two cases where civil administration officials made direct contact with Palestinians represented by HaMoked, and made them sigh undertakings which carry legal implications. The cases concerned two residents of the West Bank who were summoned to the District Coordination Office (DCO) – each in his locality – where they were required to sign an undertaking as a condition to the lifting of the security bans against their exit abroad. Needless to say, this was done without HaMoked’s knowledge, and therefore, both men did not receive any legal counselling on the consequences of signing the undertakings.

On May 28, 2015, HaMoked contacted the head of the civil administration to complain about the wrongful conduct in these cases. HaMoked stressed that this was a severe violation of the right to counsel, and added that as this happened at two different DCOs, there was cause for concern that it was a deliberate policy of the civil administration, aimed at undermining the rights of the residents of the OPT.
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