On Monday, 7 November 2016, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights held a specialized legal workshop entitled “Judicial Unity… A Comprehensive View”, at the Commodore Restaurant in Gaza City. A number of judges, public prosecutors, lawyers, and judicial office staff were in attendance. The workshop forms part of a series being held throughout the year that aim to find methods of uniting and reforming the judiciary in Palestine.
Mr. Yahiya Mhareb, Al Mezan’s lawyer, opened the workshop by recognizing the necessity of an effective judicial authority in maintaining the rule of law in Gaza. He noted that a just society must be achieved through an independent judicial authority that maintains the principle of the separation of powers. The judiciary must remain an impartial entity, governed by law, and implementing its provisions. Mr. Mhareb recalled that implementing the principles of the rule of law—namely the understanding that all are accountable under the law—is crucial in guaranteeing the respect of human rights for the Palestinian population.
Judge Khalil Al Batsh addressed the attendees by laying out the main challenges and barriers before the judiciary from his perspective as a judge in Gaza. He also discussed the push behind creating a constitutional court and zeroed in on the mounting logistical problems that the current High Judicial Council endures.
The public prosecutor, Rami Abu Sha’er, laid out the main challenges faced by the public prosecution in Gaza and offered his expert recommendations. The comments and questions from the participants focused on the difficulties that lawyers endure within the unsatisfactory system.
The participants collated the following recommendations:
At the end of the workshop the participants emphasized that Al Mezan should pursue the recommendations of the workshop.
The workshop is part of Al Mezan’s UNDP-funded project that works for the protection of human rights through legal initiative and judicial reform in the occupied Palestinian territory.