Development of the Palestinian Civil Police Code of Conduct

Jun 12, 2014

Members of the PCP travel to Ljubljana to learn from the Slovenian experience of developing a code of conduct

The Palestinian Civil Police (PCP), with support from UNDP and EUPOL COPPS, has finalised its first ever code of conduct, in consultation with civil society and other Palestinian Authority (PA) institutions. The code of conduct was a major focus of the recently concluded UNDP/EUPOL COPPS Joint Programme: Strengthening Internal Police Accountability, National Anti-Corruption and Civilian Oversight, and is aimed at ensuring that the policies and actions of the PCP are in accordance with international human rights norms and standards.

Based on the UN Code of Conduct for Enforcement Officials, and in line with the principles set out in the European Code of Police Ethics, the Palestinian Basic Law and other related laws, the new code of conduct sets forth the ethical standards to which all members of the PCP must adhere. In doing so, the code of conduct provides the benchmarks for police conduct in their daily tasks, and aims to ensure the delivery of professional, fair, impartial and effective police services.

Development of the code of conduct included extensive consultations with civil society and other PA institutions, all of which were afforded the opportunity to comment on the draft, as well as broad-based consultations within the PCP itself, facilitated by experts from UNDP and EUPOL COPPS. Accordingly, the final conduct of conduct reflects the genuine national ownership that was at the heart of its development and purpose.

In cooperation with the Slovenian police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, the Joint Programme supported an exchange visit to Slovenia from 8 to 13 September 2013 for members of the three PCP accountability units to learn from the Slovenian experience. Trainings provided by experts of the General Police Directorate of Slovenia and the Police Academy examined different methodologies, case studies and best practises, while workshop sessions focused on the challenges and next steps of implementing the code of conduct effectively.

The PCP understands that code of conduct is not an independent part of policing, but a core methodology for all fields of its work. In this regard, all police SOPs and guidelines will be aligned with the spirit and letter of code of conduct to ensure a comprehensive, sustainable, and rights-based approach to policing. The Joint Programme has printed 10,000 copies of the code of conduct to enable the police to disseminate it to its entire staff (around 8,000 officers), in addition to 500 copies in English. Copies will also be shared with civil society organisations and the international community.

UNDP and EUPOL COPPS will continue working with the police to ensure appropriate internalisation and implementation of the code of conduct through planned trainings and capacity building activities in line with the PCP’s vision to instil a moral climate in the police institution, and build trust between the police and the community. The next step will be to develop and institutionalise training modules for the PCP on issues related to the code of conduct, international human rights norms and policing best practices.

For further information about the UNDP/EUPOL COPPS Joint Programme, please contact Mr Maarten Barends, Chief Technical Specialist/Programme Manager at and/or M: (+972) 54 8174231, and/or Ms. Cinzia Tarletti, Programme Manager, EUPOL COPPS at and/or M: (+972) 54 333 1674.

UNDP and EUPOL COPPS are grateful to the Governments of Denmark, Sweden and The Netherlands for the generous support provided to the Joint Programme.


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