The Legal Oppression of Palestine: On the Illegal Occupation & the Israeli Military Courts


The panel will examine various modes by which law and legal systems are used by the Israeli state to legitimize state violence against Palestinian civilians and human rights organizations. Though open to all students, we chose to focus on legal elements to attract law students particularly- who we hope would appreciate and benefit from an analysis of the topic through a legal lens.

Ardi will discuss his publication “Negotiating the Illegal: On the United Nations and the Illegal Occupation of Palestine, 1967–2020” and Randa will draw on “Israeli Military Courts through a Gender Lens: How Israel Legitimizes Illegal Practices against Palestinians” as well as her lived experiences as leader in a Palestinian civil rights organization.


Ardi Imseis, Assistant Professor of Law, Queen’s University
Randa Siniora, Director General, Women’s Center for Legal Aid & Counseling

Ardi Imseis: Dr. Ardi Imseis is Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University. He is a Member of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts, the UN Human Rights Council commission of inquiry into the civil war in Yemen. Between 2002 and 2014, he served in senior legal and policy capacities in occupied Palestine with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and is former Senior Legal Counsel to the Chief Justice of Alberta. He has provided expert testimony in his personal capacity before various high-level bodies, including the UN Security Council, and to members of the UK House of Lords and the French Senate. He is author of the United Nations and the Question of Palestine: Rule by Law and the Structure of international Legal Subalternity (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press), and his scholarship has appeared in a wide array of international journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the European Journal of International Law, the Harvard International Law Journal, and the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. Professor Imseis is former Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Yearbook of International Law (Brill; 2008-2019) and Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Human Rights Fellow, Columbia Law School. He holds a Ph.D. (Cambridge), an LL.M. (Columbia), LL.B. (Dalhousie), and B.A. (Hons.) (Toronto).

Randa Siniora: Randa Siniora is the General Director of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (WCLAC). She is a human rights and women’s rights activists with professional experience in the field of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law for over 35 years. Earlier, she was the Senior Executive Director of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) from 2007 to 2015 and the General Director of Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man (2001-2005). Previously she also headed the Networking and Advocacy at the WCLAC and worked as a Legal Researcher and Coordinator of the Women’s Rights Program at Al-Haq. (1987-1997). Randa Siniora was the first Palestinian woman ever to brief the UN Security Council on Women Peace and Security (WPS) in 2018. In 2019, she was selected among the 100 most influential people in gender policy around the world, one of the largest and most prominent global lists that was drawn from over 9,000 nominations to recognize and celebrate the hard work being done on gender policy by many around the world. Randa has an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex/UK and an MA Degree in Sociology-Anthropology from the American University in Cairo.

This event is hosted by the Nathanson Centre at York University and co-organized by the Institute of Islamic Studies.

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