Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS” organized a workshop in Tulkarm on alternative official methods for resolving disputes. It was attended by a group of representatives of the official civil, security and police authorities, representatives of the Civil Peace Department in Tulkarm Governorate, representatives of women’s institutions and grass-roots institutions, Reconciliation men, arbitrators, citizens and community activists.
workshop comes within the project “Enhancing Citizens’ Access to
Alternative Official Methods for Conflict Resolution” with the support of the
Joint Program of SAWASYA of the United Nations Development Program / Program of
Assistance to the Palestinian People, UN Women and UNICEF, the Program for
Promoting the Rule of Law in Palestine, funded by the governments of
Netherlands and Sweden and the Spanish Agency for Development Cooperation.
The Director of the Civil Peace Department in Tulkarm Governorate, Mr. Ali Odeh, conveyed the greetings of the Governor of Tulkarm Governorate, Major General Issam Abu Bakr, stressing the importance of this workshop, which comes within the framework of strengthening efforts to preserve civil peace by identifying alternative official methods for resolving disputes and educating citizens, indicating the necessity of the cooperation of all relevant authorities and specialists to maintain security and safety and advance the Palestinian reality.
The Director of the Arbitration Department at the Ministry of Justice, Lawyer Mahmoud al-Khalidi, welcomed the participants, and gave an explanation about the General Administration of Professional Affairs and alternative means of 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 of resolving conflict between citizens, or between citizens and the government.
The advantages of arbitration are many, including the speed of procedures, confidentiality, but its cost may be high in some cases. al-Khalidi explained to the participants that the ministry has a number of specialized arbitrators in different fields such as (labor disputes, Land Settlement, 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 the alternative methods are very necessary in the framework of integration with the judiciary, as it saves time, effort and money for the courts and would reduce judicial bottlenecks and the accumulation of cases in order to preserve civil peace. In addition to the consensual solutions provided by alternative methods of resolving disputes, they also discussed the importance of educating citizens to resort to arbitration as one of the alternative methods, and the importance of monitoring arbitrators in order to enhance citizens’ confidence in it.
participants recommended holding more meetings and introducing citizens to the
official methods of resolving disputes and holding individual meetings for each
method (arbitration, negotiation, mediation) to familiarize citizens with them
in detail. They also stressed
on increasing the number of arbitrators in each governorate and training them
on the principles of arbitration before they are approved by the Ministry of
Justice and the need to oversight them. Develop the idea of arbitration by
conducting continuous meetings with the arbitrators to talk about gaps and
exchange information and experiences that contribute to the development of work.
The necessity to focus on the use of the media, social and electronic media in
awareness efforts on alternative official methods of resolving disputes because
they reach a larger number of citizens and it explains the idea in an easier
way. The intensification of the role and efforts of civil society institutions
in enhancing citizens’ knowledge on alternative methods of resolving disputes
and reaching marginalized areas. In addition to developing legislation related
to arbitration and the need to regulate alternative methods of conflict
resolution such as mediation, conciliation and reconciliation with modern laws.