Hebron University Signs an Agreement with the United Nations Development Programme on the Establishm

In late September 2011, Prof. Awni Al-Khatib, President of Hebron University, and Mr. Frode Mauring, Special Representative of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Palestinian Territory, an agreement on the establishment of a legal aid clinic in Hebron University (HU). 

The HU Clinic, which is part of the Department of Law, was established in September 2011 following a grant from UNDP, and projected support from other donors. 

The Clinic seeks to prepare students to the practice of law by allowing them to provide legal advice to the community members in order to move to the market equipped with practical skills, along with the academic knowledge. Through the Clinic, students assist certain marginalized groups in the Palestinian society, who are unable to afford paying lawyers, with pro-bono legal assistance. In addition, the Clinic constitutes a hub for legal information, training and rights activism in HU.

The Hebron district is the largest one in Palestine, with a total population of over 600,000 souls according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (December, 2010). Yet Hebron has so far the minimal legal aid programs comparing with the center of the country, despite the serious issues arising as a result of the exiting Israeli settlers in the city’s downtown and as part of the traditional social life. Hebron, both the city and the countryside, is known of its high birth rates, its strong community and family relations, and heavily relying on tribal as well as customary basis in settling disputes. The rule of law in the district needs to be strengthened.

As a first stage, the Clinic would focus on providing legal advice to university students on legal problems encountering them or their families. The Clinic would offer services on issues such as criminal justice, child rights, juvenile justice, women rights, labor law, domestic violence, disability, human rights and humanitarian law.

The Clinic works in partnership with NGOs, governmental institutions, and international organizations.