Palestinian Legislative Council:
The first elected Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was initially conceptualized with the Declaration of Principles (DOP). The idea was further developed in the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement (Oslo II) in which the structure, jurisdiction, functions, size, and responsibilities of the Council were determined.
The PLC, is to replace the Palestinian Authority upon it inauguration. As such, the Council is expected to act as the highest authority in the interim phase. The PLC is the body responsible for legislation and from it the majority (80% of the cabinet) of the Executive Authority is appointed.
Committees of the Council
The Council established eleven permanent committees at its second meeting on April 4, 1996. Under Title III of the Standing Rules, the committees review and propose amendments to legislation, report to the Council, receive constituent complaints, and study and review plans, programs, agreements, and treaties submitted to the Council by the Executive Authority. The committees discuss and report to the Council on any proposals referred by the Council or by the Speaker. The committees usually meet twice a week and may hold additional meetings at the call of the chairman, or by request of the Speaker or a majority of the members of the committee, with at least 24 hours notice. The committees meet in secret but can decide to hold public meetings. The quorum for a committee meeting is a majority of its members and decisions of the committees require a simple majority. Each committee has a chairman and a secretary elected from among its members. A committee may request, through the Speaker, that any relevant Minister or responsible person within the Palestinian National Authority give information or clarify any issue within the committee’s mandate. A committee may also ask the Speaker to request, through the President of the Authority, the attendance of any relevant Minister at a committee meeting.
The permanent committees of the Council
- Jerusalem Committee
- Lands and Settlements Committee
- Committee for Refugees and Palestinians Abroad
- Political Committee
- Legal Committee
- Budget Committee
- Committee for the Economy
- Committee for the Interior
- Education and Social Affairs Committee
- Natural Resources and Energy Committee
- Human Rights, Public Freedoms, and General Purposes Committee