On Thursday, 21 December 2017, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), with the presence of its Director, Raji Sourani, and Hashem al-Thalathini, Member of the Board of Directors, organized a closing ceremony at the end of a course for young lawyers to promote their capabilities in the Family Law and help them practice the profession before Shari’a Courts. This closing ceremony is the culmination for the course that was held in La Rosa restaurant in Gaza City. The 30-hour training course was held from 17 to 21 December 2017, and was attended by 32 lawyers, including 13 female lawyers, all of them received certifications at the end of the ceremony.
Hashem al-Thalathini, Member of the Board of Directors, discussed the importance of training for lawyers, particularly the young men, stressing that he, who does not read or enhance his abilities is a dead man. al-Thalathini also called upon the participants to benefit from PCHR’s experience as PCHR’s door will always be open to them.
Raji Sourani, PCHR’s Director, classified the importance of this course saying:” This course represents a paradigm shift in enhancing the young lawyer’s abilities in litigation before Sharia Courts in order to defend the rights of women, who are victims of violence, especially that this course is the first of its kind, which aims to deepen the knowledge of the Family Law and its titles discussed rich and various subjects.” Sourani added: “It is important that lawyers humanely treat women, especially they are subjected to double violence by Israeli forces in addition to community violence.” Sourani finally wished success to the Palestinian Bar of Association in serving the lawyers, particularly that it is full of young lawyers. Sourani also stressed that PCHR’s is continued to hold similar courses during the next period. He added, “The relationship between PCHR and the participants must not end at the end of the course, but should be enhanced to create a generation of legal researchers designated in defending women’s rights and developing suggestions to promote women and justify them.
At the beginning of his speech, Ayman Abu Aisha, Chairman of the Bar Association in Gaza City, presented the Bar Association’s honor emblem to Raji Sourani and PCHR for its pioneer role in enhancing the Sharia’a lawyers’ capabilities. Abu Aisha emphasized that PCHR has accumulated experience and deep knowledge over the long years of work in the field of Family Law and litigation before Sharia’ Courts to defend women, who are victims of violence. Abu Aisha highlighted the continued relationship between the Bar Association and PCHR and the importance to develop it in order to serve lawyers and to continue holding similar training courses, which help the lawyers to develop their professional performance.
The participants praised PCHR’s distinctive role to raise participants’ efficiency in litigation before Shari’a Courts among young lawyers. Moreover, they emphasized that the course is characterized by its rich topics that will have a positive impact on their professional level in a way that would help them easily understand the Personal Status Law and have positive effects on women’s conditions. In addition, they appreciated the efficiency of the trainers and their use of diverse and interactive training methods. They added that active participation and discussion during the training sessions had enriched the course.
The program of the course included a number of international human rights instruments, including the International Bill of Human Rights (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights); the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; Universal Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women; in addition to Sharia jurisdiction; Sharia procedural law; the Personal Status Law; family law; inheritance law;and practical procedures to file a case (alimony, dowry, child custody, judicial separation, and calling wives to the ‘house of obedience).
A team of specialized trainers supervised the training sessions. The team included Hanan Matar, Aya al-Wakeel, Sameer Hasaniyia, and Mohammed ‘Atallah. Moreover, from outside PCHR, Judges Saeed Abu al-Jubain, Mohammed Naji Fares, Atef al-Tatar, and Sherif Abu Saad, participated as well.
It should be noted that PCHR is the first human rights organization in Palestine to hold such courses. In addition, PCHR has accumulated experience and deep knowledge over the long years of work in the field of Family Law and litigation before Sharia’ Courts to defend women, who are victims of violence