Tubas: Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS” organized a workshop in Tubas on alternative official methods for resolving disputes through official methods. It was attended by a group of representatives of the official civil, security and police authorities, representatives of the Civil Peace Department in Tubas Governorate, representatives of women’s institutions and grass-roots institutions Reformers, arbitrators, citizens and community activists. This workshop comes within the framework of the project “Enhancing Citizens’ Access to Alternative Official Methods for Conflict Resolution” with the support of the joint SAWASIA program of UNDP, UNWOMEN and UNICEF, the Program for Promoting the Rule of Law in Palestine.
The workshop was inaugurated by Amal Al-Faqih from “SHAMS” Center, welcoming the attendees and the participants and stressing the importance of the workshop. In turn, she introduced the participants to the alternative official methods of resolving disputes and the actors in the field of alternative settlement for resolving disputes, showing the most prominent alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration under the Arbitration Law No. (3) of the year. 2000, Mediation, Negotiation, and Reconciliation.
In turn, the Director of the Arbitration Department at the Ministry of Justice, Mr Mahmoud Al-Khaldi, welcomed the participants and gave an explanation about the General Administration of Professional Affairs and the alternative means for resolving disputes in the Ministry of Justice in terms of its competence, tasks and role. He talked about the role of the General Administration of Professional Affairs and the alternative means for resolving disputes in establishing a register of accredited arbitrators who are approved by the ministry, in accordance with the decisions, instructions and regulations of the lists of accredited arbitrators, indicating that arbitration as one of the alternative official mechanisms for resolving disputes is one of the most important alternative means legally organized, A means to settle disputes between citizens, or between citizens and the government. The advantages of arbitration are many, including speed in the procedures, confidentiality, but its cost may be high in some cases, as he explained to the participants the presence of arbitrators specialized in the field of (labor disputes, lands settlement dispute, construction sector disputes, commercial and civil contract disputes, financial disputes, insurance disputes, Tax disputes, electronic commerce disputes) and others. In their interventions, the participants emphasized that resolving disputes by alternative methods may create solutions that are more satisfactory to both parties than going to the official judiciary, as the official judiciary relies on evidence, and official papers, while alternative methods provide solutions to the dispute with the consent of the parties, and the need to adopt the new law for arbitration because it prohibits any person practicing arbitration outside the framework of the Ministry of Justice, as there are many complaints received from citizens that there are some people who practice arbitration without any authority or official approval, in addition to the use of alternative official methods for resolving disputes would reduce judicial bottleneck and the backlog of cases. For their part, the arbitrators participating in the meeting explained that the arbitrators suffer from major problems in the relationship with the Ministry of Justice in order to obtain the arbitration certificate, and there are no standards for follow-up and control of the work of the arbitrators.
At the end of the workshop, the participants recommended the necessity of holding more meetings and introducing citizens to official methods of resolving disputes due to the lack of citizens’ knowledge of these means and the necessity to hold meetings and workshops in rural and marginalized areas to introduce them, setting up individual meetings for each method (arbitration, negotiation, mediation) to introduce citizens to them in detail, holding specialized workshops in disputes that can be resolved by alternative official methods such as (labor disputes, settlement of lands, real estate, disputes in the construction sector and buildings, family disputes resulting in financial dues) and others, holding specialized workshops with each of the actors in Settlement of disputes by alternative methods (Family Prosecution, Juvenile Prosecution, Department of Family and Juvenile Protection, Clan and Civil Peace Departments in the governorates), the need to focus on the use of traditional and social media means in awareness-raising efforts with alternative official methods for resolving disputes because they reach a larger number of citizens and the efforts of civil society institutions in enhancing citizens’ knowledge of alternative methods of resolving disputes, developing legislation related to arbitration, in addition to the necessity of organizing Alternative methods of resolving disputes such as mediation, conciliation and reconciliation with modern laws.