Ref: 31/2018

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concludes the fifth training course for this year for young lawyers in Family Law to help them obtaining the license to practice law before Sharia courts.  The 30-hour training course was attended by 30 lawyers, from northern Gaza and Gaza City, and held between 09 and 17 September 2018.

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 (CEDAW); the Personal Status Law and its harmonization with the CEDAW;  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 represented by Hanan Matar, Lawyer at PCHR’s Woman’s Unit Sameer Hasaniyia, a lawyer at PCHR’s Women’s Unit, Mohammed ‘Atallah, a trainer at PCHR, Majedah Shehadah, a researcher at PCHR’s Women’s Rights Unit, in addition to sharia judges namely Sa’id Abu al-Jubein, Ibrahim al-Najjar, ‘Omer Nofal; and Ahmed al-Buhaisi.

At the end of the course, PCHR held a closing ceremony where ‘Hashem al-Thalathini, Member of PCHR’s Board of Directors, appreciated PCHR’s long-term efforts to disseminate the culture of human rights, particularly women’s rights among the various segments of Palestinian society. He added that the course aimed at enhancing the abilities and skills of lawyers to create a generation of defenders of human rights and women’s rights. He stressed that the relationship between PCHR and participants in the training should not end at the end of the course as PCHR’s doors will remain open to benefit from its experience relevant to human rights, especially in the field of defending the rights of women.

Abdel Halim Abu Samra, Director of the Training Unit at PCHR, emphasized the importance of this course in strengthening lawyer’s litigation abilities before Sharia Courts to defend women’s rights, deepening their knowledge of Personal Status Law and developing the justice system in the Palestinian society, especially that lawyers are an integral part of the justice system. He also encouraged the participants to contribute to the dissemination of the human rights culture and transfer what they have learnt in the course to their colleagues.

The participants appreciated the distinctive role of PCHR in increasing the participants’ efficiency in pleading before sharia courts among young lawyers.  They also emphasized that the course was distinguished with its rich topics that would positively affect their professional level and make it easier for them to understand the Personal Status Law and so positively affecting women’s conditions.  They also praised the trainers’ efficiency and various and interactive training methods used in the course.

It should be mentioned that PCHR is the first human rights organization in Palestine that hold such courses as PCHR has accumulated great experience of long years in the field of Personal Status Law and pleading before Sharia Courts to defend women who are victims of violence.