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Judicial Independence and Human Dignity Initiative in the West Bank

Kimberly Inksater conducted a final evaluation of the Judicial Independence and Human Dignity Initiative (known as Karamah) at the request of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada from late 2012 to early 2014. The Karamah initiative was designed and implemented by the University of Windsor and the Institute of Law at Birzeit University from 2005 to 2012 with financial contributions from the Government of Canada and the universities and partners. The universities partnered with the Palestinian judiciary and the Palestinian Judicial Institute, to introduce a new model of judicial education to the Palestinian judiciary. This model, which was judge-designed, judge-led, with adult education/skills-based methods, incorporated new approaches to judicial reasoning and rights-based analysis that considered the position of the litigants, and the disadvantages faced by women and others in the Palestinian context. The project also partnered with the Ministry of Justice to support its institutional strengthening initiatives as it established itself in the West Bank after Hamas gained political control in the Gaza Strip. The project also worked with the Palestinian Bar Association, journalists, and non-governmental organizations that provide legal services to Palestinian men and women (such as the Jerusalem Legal Aid Centre and the Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling) to enhance a human rights based approach to media reporting on the justice sector and knowledge of lawyers related to the strategic litigation based on human dignity analysis.