His Excellency, Chairman of the Palestinian Bar Association, Advocate Jawad Obeidat,
MUSAWA's Monitoring Report on the Written Exam for Trainee Lawyers
MUSAWA-The Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession extends its warmest greetings to you, and would like to express its appreciation for allowing our team to monitor the elections, as stated in your official letter to us on 24/10/2018, where you invited us to monitor the Written Exam for Trainee Lawyers, which was held on 28/10/2018 from 10:30 am to 12 pm in the law, arts, and education’s faculties premises. MUSAWA welcomed the invitation and assigned the monitoring task to a team of 12 monitors, including four employees at MUSAWA, who are Adv. Angham Mansour, Adv. Shorouq Abu Qare’, Ruba Bakeer, and Zainab Samara, whereas the others are members of the Lawyers for the Rule of Law’s group (Friends of MUSAWA), and they are: Adv. Haneen Abu Shbeekeh, Adv. Moayyad Abu Assaf, Adv. Rana Obeid, Adv. Diaa Darqrouq, Adv. Mrwa Shreiteh, Adv. Reem Eid, Adv. Baraa Rimawi, who monitored the exam halls, since its beginning till the end.
MUSAWA appreciates your response to its remarks on the Bar Association’s previous exams for trainee lawyers and for law graduates who wanted to register for training. Our remarks were related to closing the exam papers before getting them out of the exam hall, and increasing the number of the exam halls, to avoid the overcrowding phenomenon, and avoiding the disruptive visits of the Bar’s council’s representatives group.
MUSAWA also appreciates Adv. Amjad AlShelleh’s confirmation that the Bar’s Association takes MUSAWA’s remarks on its previous exams into consideration, including MUSAWA’s recommendation to stop assigning impartial monitors, whose attitude may affect the professionalism and the integrity of the exam. MUSAWA also acknowledges some of the exam’s positive aspects, as most of the halls visited by MUSAWA’s team were disciplined and committed, and the halls managing was professional, and it was able to deal with any updates in a fast and a smooth manner, regardless of the examinees' large number.
As a result of its monitoring on the last exam, the key observations documented by MUSAWA’s monitoring team are the following:
1- The exam did not start at the same time in the whole exam halls.
2- In Some halls (Education faculty) the examinees’ names were not hidden when submitting their exam papers, and we note that MUSAWA’s monitor on these halls has brought to the attention of the hall monitor that it was important to close the exam papers once they are submitted by the examinees without delay, indicating that the closing process must be done inside the hall, what should be followed in all halls and by all of the halls managers.
3- Some halls’ managers were absent and no clear instructions were given to the monitors, even though they worked hard to maintain order and tranquility.
4- Some monitors were talking on the phone inside the exam halls, and some others were smoking.
5- In some halls, examinees kept asking questions throughout the exam period, and it was remarkable that some of these questions were asked with a low voice in a separated manner between the examinee and the monitor.
1- Making sure all halls are ready to start the exam at the same timing.
2- Disseminating the exam instructions to all monitors, not only to the halls managers, and making sure they understand those instructions, and the importance of dealing with emergencies cases, like the absence of the hall manager.
3- Committing to closing the exam papers once all examinees finish the exam, and making sure that the closing process is done inside the exam hall and without any delay.
4- Organizing specialized training for the monitors to raise their monitoring competences duly.
5- Prohibiting the phenomenon of asking questions with a low voice and the phenomenon of answering examinees individually.
MUSAWA- the Palestinian Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession hopes that your distinguished council and the training commission to consider our remarks and to take the needed legal action to address them duly.
With all due respect,
Issued on 30/10/2018 legal Monitoring Officer