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Kuwait to appoint women as lawyers, judges

Tuesday September 18, 2012 08:32:24 PM, IINA

Kuwait City: In a breakthrough decision taken by Kuwait's High Judiciary Council, women in Kuwait will soon be appointed to the judiciary and would also be able to practice as lawyers.

Female graduates from the colleges of law and Sharia will be able to join fellow male graduates in the appointment to the public prosecution following a decision by the High Judiciary Council, legal sources told local Arabic daily Al Jareeda.


The Council has informed Jamal Al Sheehab, the justice minister, about the move and he did not mind. Appointments to the public prosecution will be gradually followed by appointments as judges in specific areas, the sources added.


The Council said that Kuwaiti women have been appointed to almost all areas and that some became government ministers.


“There is no legal text or provisions in the constitution that bars women from working in the judiciary,” the Council reportedly said.


“The parliament at one time approved the appointment of 190 women as investigators in the public prosecution, so it is not really something new for the parliament even though it did not materialize.”

According to the sources, the Council will initially appoint five to seven female public prosecutors.


“It will be like a try to familiarize the Kuwaiti society with the development and it will be followed by the appointment of female judges,” the sources said.


Applications for the positions will be accepted from graduates with high scores ranging between 80 per cent for the law college and 90 per cent for the Sharia faculty from September 23 to October 11 by the justice ministry, the sources said.


Successful candidates will undergo a two-year training focusing on personal status, printing, publishing and audio-visual, and juvenile prosecution sections. The female prosecutors will need a five to seven year experience before they are appointed judges, the sources said.

In June 2006, Bahrain became the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country to appoint a woman judge. Mona Jassem Al Kawari was appointed to the civil courts.


In the UAE, Kholoud Ahmad Jouan Al Dhaheri became in March 2008 the country’s first female judge. In 2010, Qatar appointed Sheikha Maha Mansour Al Thani as its first woman judge.


Morocco was the first Arab country to have a woman judge when it appointed Amina Abdul Razzak as a judge in a Rabat court in 1961.


Kuwaiti women have recently succeeded to make strides in areas that had been strictly confined to men.


In 2005, the parliament agreed to give women full political rights and allowed them to vote and stand in parliamentary and local elections for the first time in the country’s history.


In 2009 four women won seats in the 50-member parliament in the only successful bid.




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