MUSAWA – The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession affirms its deep belief in the vitality of collective action among Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) towards the achievement of mutual demands for building a State where the rule of law prevails; human rights are guaranteed; the principle of separation of powers is maintained; and a judicial system that is professional, impartial and independent, and which serves as a first refuge for all citizens, is established. Based on this understanding, MUSAWA has always encouraged the formation of community-based coalitions in defense of human rights and the rule of law. In view of this, MUSAWA has joined and contributed to the establishment of the Civic Coalition for Judicial Reform and Protection, where we took part in setting mechanisms for the Coalition’s work, ensuring the independence of its members and making sure that all members are on the same page in terms of the statements made and actions taken by the Coalition. This includes the following:
1. The draft of the media statement shall be presented to the Executive Board of the Coalition prior to publishing and announcing that statement by the hosting party, in order to obtain the necessary approval of the Board before publishing.
2. All titles and terms shall be selected carefully; terms that suggest that the Coalition has become an institution, such as the terms "Head", "Secretary", and other titles that have not been agreed-on or approved shall not be used.
3. The Coalition is not a substitute for any other community coalition and does not have the authority to decide on behalf of CSOs or citizens / stakeholders in general. According to what has been agreed with CSOs, it does not fall within the Coalition’s sphere of competence to form a community-based fact-finding committee. Instead of making unilateral decisions regarding the said committee, mechanisms for joint action should be discussed, and all parties should be consulted in terms of the point they have reached until now.
In this regard, the fellow organization ISTIQLAL published on 29/03/2018 news under the title: “the civic coalition adopts the establishment of a truth committee to look into the reasons behind the judicial deterioration”. The news was published without consulting with the Executive Board first, and it goes against the fact that the truth committee had already been adopted by the CSOs. What the news suggests is that the Coalition will handle the formation of this committee, which contradicts with what has been agreed upon with the CSOs in terms of the committee’s work mechanisms and period of operation. In addition, the set mechanisms of the Coalition’s work were violated, as the said news was published by ISTIQLAL in its capacity as the “Secretary” of the Coalition, which does not conform to what had been agreed upon. MUSAWA expresses its disagreement with what is stated in the said news, and we reiterate the need to adhere to the mechanisms organizing the Coalition’s work, maintaining a unified position and a joint action for all members. It should be noted that MUSAWA had asked ISTIQLAL to delete the news, who did not take the necessary action in return, which urged us to declare our position in the matter mentioned above. In this context, we reaffirm our commitment to and interest in collaborating with CSOs whose mission is consistent with MUSAWA’s vision and goals.