Former US Attorney Moving to West Bank to Help Transition to Statehood

Former US Attorney Moving to West Bank to Help Transition to Statehood

Former U.S. Attorney and Seattle University Law professor John McKay is moving to the West Bank to spend two years helping Palestinians set up their court system in preparation for statehood.

McKay will represent the U.S. State Department as a “chief of team” and “rule of law coordinator.” He will have a 30-member Palestinian staff including lawyers, a law-enforcement professional, and “technicians and project managers working with an eye toward bringing the Palestinian justice system up to speed.”

McKay believes the rule of law “can be an instrument of peace.” He says he always taught his students they had to be “willing to live… anywhere [they] are needed.”

As McKay prepares to head to Palestine, his position at the university will not be terminated. Rather, he is taking leave and will resume his duties at the school once his contract with the State Department is over. 

McKay will live in Ramallah, where he will be armed with nothing but a U.S. passport. He says he is not overly concerned about his safety while there. 


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