MIFTAH holds focus session on enacted policies and procedures in Sharia courts regarding the termination of marriage through lawsuits of conflict and discord
As part of MIFTAH’s approach on influencing public policies to guarantee social justice and equality, it held a focus session on policies and procedures in sharia courts regarding the termination of marriage through lawsuits of conflict and discord, according to the Jordanian Personal Status Law No. 61 of 1976, enacted in the West Bank, and Order No. 303 on the Family Rights Law of 1954 enacted in the Gaza Strip. Several sharia court professionals attended the session in addition to the Judicial Inspection Commission, the Counseling Department, the Alimony Fund, sharia and civil attorneys and the author of the paper, Khadija Hussein.
Legal procedures for separation on the basis of conflict or discord
During the session, the most significant procedures practiced in all separation lawsuits for various reasons, including separation due to harm, discord and conflict, were discussed, from the moment the lawsuit is filed through all of the judicial procedures including notification of the opposing party, convening the dispute, displaying the evidence and motives of each of the parties to the dispute and their response to it, until the sharia ruling is made. The participants also discussed procedures to appeal or oppose sharia rulings and other judicial procedures in accordance with the legal principles followed in all sharia courts.
The session also addressed the role of arbitrators in marital disputes, considering this to be a very important role in separation lawsuits for damage from discord or conflict, especially at the beginning of the intervention whereby the arbitrators seek to achieve conciliation and agreement between the quarreling couple.
The session concluded with the following recommendations:
MIFTAH project manager Najwa Yaghi said the objective of the session was to consult with experts over suggestions and alternatives provided by MIFTAH, which would contribute to women’s access to justice, maintaining that these proposals came from the results of the report, “Legal loopholes in policies and procedures of sharia and ecclesiastical courts.” The report was based on a methodology of qualitative research through the analysis of enacted legislation, which regulates personal status rights and analyses the content of public polices and legal procedures for the implementation of sharia and ecclesiastical laws. It is also based on the analysis of directives issued by the Sharia Chief Justice Department for the interpretation of the law. The analysis was also based on gender tools and CEDAW to uncover the gaps in laws regulating rights and procedures for achieving justice. In-depth interviews were also conducted with several judges and lawyers in the field of sharia and ecclesiastical justice,” she said.
The session is part of MIFTAH’s efforts to support the Women’s Peace and Security agenda through interventions from its OXFAM-funded “Conflict and Fragility” project.