Monday, July 27, 2009

Press Release: Decision to Impose Traditional Robes and Veils on Female Lawyers in Gaza Is Illegal

PCHR - Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

"Chief Justice of the High Court of Justice, Head of the Higher Justice Council in Gaza gas issued a new decision concerning the clothing of lawyers. PCHR believes that this decision constitutes a violation of the law and an unjustified intervention into lawyers' affairs. It also undermines personal freedoms and women's rights through forcing female lawyers to wear traditional robes known as "Jilbab" and veils (Hijabs).

The decision was issued on 9 July 2008 by Counselor 'Abdul Ra'ouf al-Halabi, Chief Justice of the Higher Court of Justice and Head of the Higher Justice Council, and it will enter into force on 1 September 2009. The decision orders male lawyers to wear a special uniform when appearing before courts, which includes: A vesture of black cloth known as the robe; a dark tuxedo; a while shirt; and a black necktie. According to the decision, female lawyers have to wear black cloth known as the robe; a dark suit (Jilbab, tuxedo or coat); and a scarf covering the hair.

According to the decision, male and female lawyers must wear such clothing when appearing before all regular courts.

PCHR believes that although it was based on the provisions of the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003, the Lawyers' Clothing Statute of 1930 and what it calls "common righteous norms, as mentioned in its preamble, the decision violates the constitution and the law and undermines women's rights and personal freedoms ensured by the constitution for the following reasons........"

No comments: