Diana Buttu

Ms. Buttu is a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and a former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization. Best known for her work as a legal adviser and a participant in peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian organizations, she has since been associated with Stanford University, Harvard University, and the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).

Charles Shamas

Charles Shamas is a graduate of Yale University, Mr. Charles Shamas came to Palestine in 1976. He co-founded Al-Haq in 1979 and remained with the organization for the next 11 years. Also in 1979, Mr. Shamas founded MATTIN - the Centre for Production Development Ltd as a not-for-profit manufacturing company to test the institutional constraints on skilled labour-based manufacturing in the occupied Palestinian territories, and to pursue solutions. 

Between 1985-1988, MATTIN Ltd. utilized its production of designer lingerie to induce the European Community and the United States to establish import and product labelling regimes "in conformity with international law" specifically for OPT products, and led a successful effort to end Israel's prohibition of direct Palestinian agricultural exports.  MATTIN Ltd. was closed down by Israel's military government in 1990. 

The MATTIN Group, as it is now known, draws on the disciplines of law, cognitive science, economics, commerce and trade policy to address problems of international human rights and international humanitarian law implementation and enforcement and clarify related areas of third party responsibility. 

Mr. Shamas was also a co-founder of the Palestinian Trade Promotion Organization and serves on Human Rights Watch’s MENA Advisory Committee.

Mr. Shamas discussed how to achieve effectiveness and enforcement by using law to get States and corporations to abide by their own internalization of international legal norms and rules through external enforcement processes based on the principle of non-recognition of internationally-wrongful acts.

Lubna Katbeh

Ms. Lubna Katbeh is a managing partner of Equity Legal Group, a leading law firm in Palestine, based in Ramallah. Her practice focuses on banking and finance, litigation, contracts, consultation, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and project management of rule of law projects. Ms. Katbeh is a Court Member of the International Chamber of Commerce's International Court of Arbitration and is the head of the ICC Palestine Monetary Authority and Security of its Board of Directors. In that role, Ms. Katbeh was responsible for overseeing the drafting of major economic laws and regulations, including the 2009 Banking Law, the Central Bank Law, and numerous other regulations pretaining to money exchange and microfinance. Ms. Katbeh also lectures on ADR and legal drafting at Birzeit University. 

Ms. Katbeh discussed the state of the law reform in Palestine, with emphasis on the growing differences between the legal regimes in Gaza and the West Bank, the practical challenges this phenomenon poses for the Palestinian bar, and its consequences for the Palestinian national movement. She also discussed the state of the Palestinian judiciary, including the new Constitutional Court, which was established by presidential decree in April 2016.

Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat

Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat leads the PLO General Delegation to the United States in Washington D.C. He was born in Jericho, Palestine, and obtained a BS in finance from Arizona State University in 1983 and an MBA from Western International University in 1987. In 1993-1998 he worked as spokesman of the Orient House, then the unofficial PLO headquarters in East Jerusalem. He started working for the Palestinian National Authority in 1998, first at the Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) while serving as its Director-General until March 2008. In 2008-2009, he served as Coordinator-General of the NAD. In 2009, he was appointed chief of the PLO Delegation to the United States. 

Michael Kearney

Michael Kearney is a Senior Lecturer in Law at University of Sussex. He is a recognized expert in international criminal law and a foremost scholar on the prohibition on propaganda for war in international law. He teaches public international law, international criminal law, the law of armed conflict, and transitional justice at Sussex, and also serves as convenor of its international criminal law LLM programme. Previously, he was a Fellow in Law at the London School of Economics. He has worked as a legal researcher and consultant with the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq, and has represented the organization in consultations with the International Criminal Court. He is a graduate of University College Cork and the National University of Ireland, Galway. 

Relevant Scholarship:

Palestine and the politics of international criminal justice.(with John Reynolds), in Ashgate Research Companion to International Criminal Law: Critical Perspectives (2013).

Palestine and the International Criminal Court. in Palestine And International Law: New Approaches (2011)

Lawfare, legitimacy and resistance: the weak and the law. Palestine Yearbook of International Law, 16 (1). pp. 79-129 (2010)


George Bisharat

Professor Bisharat was a trial lawyer for the Office of the Public Defender in San Francisco before joining the UC Hastings faculty in 1991. He is the author of Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West Bank, a study of Palestinian lawyers working under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank before the Oslo Accords, and various other publications on law and politics in the Middle East. Professor Bisharat is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.

Relevant Scholarship:

Re-Democratizing Palestinian Politics, 17 UCLA J. Int'l L. & Foreign Aff. 1 (2013). Available for download.

Maximizing Rights: The One State Solution to the Palestinian–Israeli Conflict, 8 Global Jurist Frontiers Art. 1 (2008). FULLTEXT

John Quigley

Professor Quigley teaches international law and comparative law, is the leading American authority on consular relations, and was among the first experts to assert the statehood of Palestine. Before joining the Ohio State faculty in 1969, Professor Quigley was a research scholar at Moscow State University, and a research associate in comparative law at Harvard Law School. Professor Quigley is active in international human rights work. His numerous publications include books and articles on human rights, the United Nations, war and peace, east European law, African law, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Professor Quigley is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

Relevant Scholarship:

Self-Determination in the Palestine Context, in Susan M. Akram et. al. eds., International Law And The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, A Rights Base Approach To Middle East Peace (2011).

The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict (2010).

The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective (2005).

Palestine and Israel: A Challenge to Justice (1990).


Omar Dajani

Professor Dajani is currently Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge College of Law. He served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team in final-status negotiations with Israel, including the Camp David and Taba summits. He then joined the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), where he worked on peacebuilding initiatives and played a lead role in marshaling and organizing international efforts to support Palestinian legal and political reforms. Since that time, he has consulted on a variety of legal infrastructure development and conflict resolution projects in Palestine and the wider Middle East.
Professor Dajani teaches public international law, international negotiations,
transnational lawyering, and United Nations law and practice.
He is a graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School.

Relevant Scholarship:

Divorce without Separation: Reimagining the 2-State Solution, Ethnopolitics (forthcoming 2016).

Past the Point of Past the Point of No Return? A Rights-Based Framework for International Engagement in Israel/Palestine (with Hiba Husseini) (2014).

Shadow or Shade: The Roles of International Law in Palestinian-Israeli Peace Talks, 32 YALE J. INT’L L. 61 (2007), reprinted in VICTOR KATTAN, ED., THE PALESTINE QUESTION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW (2008).

Stalled Between Seasons: The International Legal Status of Palestine During the Interim Period, 26 DENVER J. INT’L LAW & POL’Y 27 (1997), reprinted in VICTOR KATTAN, ED., THE PALESTINE QUESTION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW (London: British Society of International and Comparative Law, 2008).