On Tuesday, 16 April 2019, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded the second training course on the human rights and mechanisms of Litigation before Sharia Courts for Fresh Lawyers. The course comes as part of PCHR’s human rights and legal mission of protecting and disseminating the culture of human rights and monitoring the human rights situation and providing legal consultation and assistance in addition to building the capacities of young lawyers in the Personal Status Law and laws related to women’s rights and preparing them to obtain the sharia law license to practice their work before the Sharia courts.
The 35-hour course was held in the training hall of PCHR in Khan Younis for seven days from 7 – 16 April 2019. The course was attended by 25 male and female lawyers from Khan Younis and Rafah. The training program of the course included topics that fit the needs of the targeted group. It focused on topics relevant to International human rights law and women’s rights in addition to other topics relevant to Sharia Laws such as the Personal Status Law, family law, inheritance rules, Waqf (Endowment) rules, Sharia Procedural Law, and the practical application of sharia cases and provisions.
A team of specialized trainers supervised the training sessions. The team included Abdul Halim Abu Samra, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit; Mohammed ‘Atallah, a trainer at PCHR’s Training Unit; Majdah Shehada; a researcher at PCHR’s Women’s Rights Unit; and Hanan Matar and Samah ‘Ashour, lawyers at the Women’s Unit in addition to Sharia judges namely Sa’id Abu al-Jubein, Ibrahim al-Najjar, ‘Omer Nofal, and Salah Abu Hashish.
At the end of the course, PCHR held a closing ceremony where Abdel Halim Abu Samra, Head of PCHR’s Training Unit, emphasized that this course comes within PCHR’s goals to develop and improve lawyer’s litigation skills before Sharia Courts to defend the rights of women subject to violence and deepening their knowledge of Personal Status Law. He also said that PCHR aims at creating a generation that is interested in defending human rights and women’s rights in particular, especially as Palestinian women are subjected to duplicated violence by the Israeli occupation and community. Abu Samra emphasized the need to have an ongoing relationship between PCHR and the participants and the need to strengthen this relationship after the end of the training course and benefit from PCHR’s knowledge and experience in this field. He confirmed that PCHR’s doors will always be open for them.
Lawyer Ayman Abu ‘Eishah, President of the Sharia Bar Association in Gaza, praised 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 Association. He added that the 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 law practice 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 affect women’s conditions and create lawyers fully aware and capable of defending human rights.
‘Abd al-Rahman al-Tahrawi, a lawyer participating in the course, stressed PCHR’s role in raising the efficiency and awareness of the participants in Litigating before Sharia Courts, confirming that the course was distinguished with its rich topics, the efficiency of the trainers and the various and interactive training methods used in the training sessions.
It should be mentioned that PCHR is the first human rights organization in Palestine that holds 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.