On Thursday, 29 August 2019, in cooperation with the Sharia Bar Association, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) concluded the third training course on the human rights and mechanisms of Litigation before Sharia Courts for Fresh Lawyers. The course comes as part of 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, which was held in the training hall of Lighthouse Restaurant from 21 – 29 August 2019, was attended by 25 male and female lawyers from Gaza City and northern Gaza Strip. The training program of the course included topics that meet 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, and Sharia Proceedings 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 the Women’s Unit; Mohammed ‘Atallah, a trainer at PCHR’s Training Unit; Majdah Shehada; a researcher at PCHR’s Women’s Rights Unit; and Hanan Matar, Samir Hasaneya, 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, reviewed PCHR’s role in promoting and protecting women’s rights and talked about the services provided to women, who are victims of violence, in addition to PCHR’s attempts to harmonize the Personal Status Law with women’s issues. Abu Samra added that this course comes within PCHR’s efforts to develop and improve lawyer’s litigation skills before Sharia Courts to defend women’s rights and deepening their knowledge of human rights and Personal Status Law. He also said that PCHR aims at developing the judicial system in Palestine, particularly by building the capacities of lawyers who are an integral part of this system.
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 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.
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.