UK: University of Leicester criticised for event with Israeli Supreme Court justice

The institution’s Palestine Society says it is ‘outraged’ at the decision to invite Justice Ruth Ronnen

Imran Mulla

The Israeli Supreme Court's president and justices (AFP)
The Israeli Supreme Court’s president and justices (AFP)

The University of Leicester’s Palestine Society has criticised the Global South Network’s invitation to Israeli Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ronnen to address an online event hosted at the university.

Ronen is one of 15 justices in Israel’s Supreme Court and has been involved in a number of rulings that entrench the illegal occupation of Palestinian land, as well as human rights violations against Palestinians.

Last year, Palestinian farmers in the occupied West Bank village of Anin requested that the gate in the Israeli-built separation wall between their farmland and their village be opened daily instead of twice a week. Ronnen rejected their petition. 

She also ruled along with other judges this January in support of the Israeli military barring foreign journalists from entering the Gaza Strip. 

In February, the families of 62 Palestinians from Gaza detained in Israel filed a petition requesting information about where they were being detained and that they be given legal representation. Ronnen and two other judges dismissed the petition out of hand, citing technical arguments.

The event, scheduled for 25 August, is part of a guest lecture series featuring judges from different countries.

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The Global South Network (GSN), which describes itself as a forum for “students, scholars, practitioners, and civil society organisations from different regions of the Global South”, is run by UK-based academics and researchers.

GSN has previously held an event with the president of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Palestine, Justice Ali Mohanna.

Ronnen’s guest lecture is entitled “Being a Judge in Israel; Taking Judging Seriously”. 

The University of Leicester Palestine Society described itself as “outraged” at the decision to invite Ruth Ronnen. 

“Ruth Ronnen plays a key role in Israel’s apartheid regime in which Palestinians including even Palestinian children are tried in a military court and Israelis in a civilian one,” the society said in a statement.

“It flies in the face of all legal and moral ethics to invite a representative of a state carrying out grave breaches of international law, and to normalise this to your students.”

Middle East Eye has contacted the University of Leicester and the GSN for comment. 

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