On Monday, 25 March 2019, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded the first training course for this year for young lawyers in Human Rights Law and mechanisms of pleading before Shari’a Courts. Such a training course aims at promoting the young lawyers’ abilities in the Personal Status Law and relevant women’s laws and helping them obtaining the license to practice Law before sharia courts.
The 35-hour training course was attended by 25 male and female lawyers from northern Gaza Strip and Gaza City, and held between 17 and 25 March 2019 in Shari’a Bar Association in Gaza City.
The training program was specifically designed for the targeted group. It focused on subjects relating to International human rights law in addition to other subjects relating to Sharia Laws such as the Personal Status Law, family law, inheritance rules, Waqf (Endowment) rules, and Sharia Procedural Law.
A team of specialized trainers supervised the training sessions. The team included Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit; Mona al-Shawa; Head of Women’s Rights Unit; Mohammed ‘Atallah, a Coordinator at PCHR’s Training Unit; Majdah Shehada; a researcher at PCHR’s Women’s Rights Unit; and Hana Matar, Samah ‘Ashour and Sameer Hasaniyia; lawyers at Women’s Rights Unit, in addition to sharia judges namely Sa’id Abu al-Jubein, Ibrahim al-Najjar and ‘Omer Nofal.
At the end of the course, PCHR held a closing ceremony where Jaber Weshah, Deputy Director for Branch Affairs of PCHR, pointed out PCHR’s role in strengthening and protecting women’s rights and PCHR’s services provided to women subject to violence, in addition to the Personal Status Law and how to harmonize it with women’s issues.
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.
Ayman Abu ‘Eishah, President of the Sharia Bar Association in Gaza, stressed PCHR’s distinctive role in disseminating the culture of human rights and rule of law among young lawyers, pointing out to the great relationship between PCHR and the Bar. He added that he course was characterized with its rich topics that will have a positive impact on lawyers’ professional level in a way that would help them to pass their practice law license exam to plead before the sharia courts in the Gaza Strip and help them to easily understand the Personal Status Law and so positively reflect on women’s conditions and create lawyers fully aware and capable of defending human rights.
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.
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.
At the end of the ceremony, all participants received certificates.