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Defense of a Master’s Thesis by Wafa Jaber in the Commercial Law Program

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Researcher Wafa Hassan Jaber, a student in the Master’s Program in Commercial Law, has defended her thesis titled “Governance of Insurance Companies in Palestine.”

The present study addressed the of governance in insurance companies in terms of its concept, objectives, and standards that companies must implement. The researcher touched upon the standards and principles issued by the OECD\G20 organization, the role of the Capital Market Authority in promoting and establishing principles of governance in the insurance sector. The researcher also touched upon the role of the board of directors of insurance companies in activating the principles of governance and the extent of their commitment to implementing these principles and the committees emanating from them, in addition to the role of both the internal and external auditors in monitoring the work of insurance companies. Thus, the focus was on the annual reports for 2022 and the standards of disclosure and transparency. The study also addressed the internal and external mechanisms of insurance company governance.

The researcher conducted an applied study on insurance companies operating in Palestine to identify the extent of insurance companies’ commitment to applying governance principles by distributing a questionnaire to them. The researcher came up with the most important results; the Palestinian legislator regulated technical issues and compensation in accordance with the articles of the Insurance Law, and administrative matters according to the articles of a resolution in the Companies Law. The Capital Market Authority also used the gradual method in implementing the optional rules in the Governance Code and did not set a timetable from 2009 to the date of the study. This is in addition to the failure of insurance companies to implement and apply the provisions of Companies Law No. (42) of (2021).

The researcher noted that insurance companies varied in disclosing their non-financial data in annual reports, in addition to their failure to implement the optional rules stated in the Companies’ Governance Code issued by the National Committee, and they did not explain the reasons for non-compliance in the annual reports.

The researcher recommended the necessity of issuing a new insurance law in which the articles include all administrative, technical, and financial aspects, compensation, mergers, acquisitions, and liquidations. Moreover, the insurance law should keep pace with all international developments and be compatible with the standards set by the OECD\G20. It should also include all standards of financial and non-financial disclosure, transparency, fairness, and prevention of conflict of interests, risk management, and the number and composition of the Board of Directors, provided that the number of independent members does not exceed half in insurance companies. It should also include accountability and the rights of shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders, in addition to strengthening the role of the Capital Market Authority in establishing governance principles and providing all financial and administrative resources to the Authority to perform its work, granting it full powers and ensuring its independence, and issuing a new governance code compatible with the laws and work environment of insurance companies operating in Palestine, which they are obligated to work in accordance with the provisions of the law.

The thesis was supervised by Dr. Tareq Kmail. The committee of examiners included Dr. Nour Hajaya and Dr. Ahmad Abu Zaina.