National Society for Democracy and Law Organized a Consultative Meeting on Community Reconciliation in a Meeting hall in Khan Younis Province.
Jurists, community activists and journalists asserted on the need for condensing joint efforts to enhance community reconciliation, and reduce conflicts between members within the Palestinian society in order to achieve justice and the principles of the rule of law which is considered an introduction to the economic empowerment and sustainable development.
This came during a consultative meeting hold by National Society for Democracy and Law under the title “Community Reconciliation as a Foundation for Sustainable Development”, in one of the meetings` halls in Khan Younis, in the presence of Mr. Salama Bseiso – Vice President of the Palestinians Bar Association and Assistant of Secretary General of Arab Lawyers` Union, and Mr. Ibrahim Abu Shamala, deputy program manager of the rule of law and access to justice in the United Nations Development Program “” UNDP, and a group of lawyers, number of journalists and community activists.
This meeting come within the framework of the project “Promoting the right to development and enhancing vulnerable groups` access to basic services (DAFE), supported and funded by the United Nations Development Program UNDP / PAPP.
Mr.Ahmad Srour, project coordinator, started the meeting with a welcome word to the audience and thanked the donor for their support and great efforts to establish the basic rules required for achieving the social justice and the rule of law.
Mr. Bseiso spoke about the legal functions of the state, and the prominent role played by the legal projects carried out through legal clinics within NGOs localities. The legal clinics aimed through its activities to support ways of reconciliation and community mediation by raising skills and abilities of reconciliatory men in the level of tribal judiciary which has become prevalent in many Palestinian areas.
Bseiso clarified the weakness and strong point within the tribal justice and the legal mechanisms followed through the legal clinics to empower the reconciliatory figures in their practices, explaining that tribal judiciary has the positive satisfaction from the beneficiaries due to its fast procedures and does not need to pay money as in the situation of the courts.
In addition, he pointed out that the tribal arbitration is marred by some disadvantages due to it is not subjected to the control of a particular formal justice, this lead arbitrators often to commit some mistakes. So, the training aimed to bridge the gap between formal and informal justice to make the practices of the reconciliatory men in consistency with the principles of human rights and the rule of law
Bseiso added that the customary judges are not a substitute for the formal law but a tributary of the of the law tributaries and one of the nation`s pillars and a building`s pick that helps in the establishment of security and safety.
For his part, Abu Shamala asserted that the rule of law is considered the premise for the economic and legal empowerment. He added that our Society claims the virtue but which there is no doubt that we have many problems, especially those concerned with personal status law, inheritance issues, labor issues, gender issues, juvenile and child labor issues,……..etc
He explained that the recent researches and studies have shown that there are heavy legal illiteracy prevailing among the Palestinian people, which have become more prevalent among academics.
He added that there is a deep insight has acquired the international and local community that aims to build the capacity of Gaza reconciliatory figures through making legal approaches based fair solutions and community mediation based on the rule of law and principles of equitable justice.
Abu Shamala praised the successes achieved by the legal clinics at the level of the provided legal aid services on its three main levels since the legal clinics succeeded in instilling the voluntary principles VPS within arbitrators of reconciliatory figures in the contribution of resolving the social problems of the community and reducing the community conflict. This is to protect the society from disintegration and achieving justice based on humanitarian values and principles concerned with justice. In addition the women have become more daring to ask for her legal rights.
In his turn, Mr.Daowd Al-Massri answered some questions and inquiries concerned on control on justice, explaining that the UNDP support a group of journalists and legal persons to empower them to exercise forms of censorship over justice agencies in both its formal and informal justice.
He added that the seed of justice is planted and control applied in many areas in Gaza Strip, and there is a program we intend to apply it in Rafah province next year.