Palestinian Studies


A Global History of the First Palestinian Human Rights Organization

Book launch event on June 15, 2021. A collaboration between SOAS, Center for Palestinian Studies, and Brown University, New Directions in Palestinian Studies initiative.

About the Author: 

Lynn Welchman is professor of law in the Middle East and North Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She worked in different capacities with al-Haq from the early 1980s.

Description: Established in Ramallah in 1979, al-Haq was the first Palestinian human rights organization and one of the first such organizations in the Arab world. This inside history explores how al-Haq initiated methodologies in law and practice that were ahead of their time and to which can be traced the origins of many strands of human rights work in Palestine and elsewhere today. It looks at the founders of this internationally recognized organization, its staffers, its work, and its legacy. Al-Haq’s history answers important questions, such as: Why would one set up a human rights organization under military occupation? How would one go about promoting the rule of law in a Palestinian society deleteriously served by the law and with every reason to distrust those charged with implementing its protections? How would one go about educating overseas allies and activating international law in defense of Palestinian rights? This revelatory story speaks to the practice of local human rights organizations and their impact on international groups. 

June 2021 Paperback

$34.95, £29.00

Read a free ebook version at