The Clinics for Law and Social Change

הקליניקות

We are proud to present the Legal Clinics’ 2018–2019 report. After a brief overview of our activities as a center, we will present in detail each clinic’s activities in the past academic year. As the report demonstrates, the variety of topics and legal tools the Clinics have engaged with this year has been especially large. The opening of two new clinics—the Dispute Resolution Clinic and the Civil Litigation Clinic—added significant legal strategies to our toolset, and we can now offer our students a rich and varied clinical experience.

The Clinics are also extremely diverse in terms of the clients and causes we serve, including all walks of Israeli society, and especially marginalized communities and people whose voices are seldom heard. These include people living in poverty, people with disabilities, refugees, women survivors of sexual assault, and women in prostitution, transgender people, the elderly, the Arab–Palestinian minority, and more.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, the clinical center was home to eight clinics. The clinic for the rights of the Arab–Palestinian minority operated only in the first semester due to the director’s teaching load, but it will operate all of next year. As mentioned above, this year two new clinics were established: the Dispute Resolution Clinic, directed by Adv. Dana Feinreich Gilo (also a social worker and mediator), and the Civil Litigation Clinic, directed by  Adv. Reut Cohen. The two Clinics represent an integrative clinical approach that highlights developing legal expertise and tools and then applying that expertise in different cases on behalf of different populations. Thus, the clinics can become a resource for other clinics and organizations to offer holistic legal services. This first year has been very successful in terms of both volume of activity and impact.

Although our cases, clients, and projects span the entire country (and beyond), we have a special commitment to the community in which we are located, namely Haifa and the North of Israel. This year we further strengthened our connections with communities within Haifa. In addition to the community centers to which we offer legal aid in Western Haifa and the housing project we operate in the Arab neighborhoods, we established a new rights center in the neighborhood of Hadar that serves refugees and people with no legal status. The rights center joins a student-led health clinic established by the Technion medicine faculty. Students from the clinics receive clients at the center and offer general legal aid. Additionally, the Dispute Resolution Clinic has partnered with Haifa Mediation Center and the town of Haifa’s social services to provide pro bono mediation and community projects that make use of alternative dispute resolution tools in promoting marginalized communities.

Because of the diversity of the Clinics’ activities, quantitative measures can give only a partial picture of them. For the full picture, one must read the detailed report below. Nevertheless, here are some numbers to give the reader a snapshot of the scope of our activities: In the 2018–2019 academic year, 97 students participated in the eight clinics (and an additional 15 participated in the first semester in the public defenders’ clinic). Legal services were provided to over 300 clients, and 21 court cases were litigated. The Dispute Resolution Clinic conducted 25 mediations. The Clinics undertook 10 legislative projects, including participating in the relevant Knesset committees. Students and clinical directors participated in over 30 conferences, public lectures, and workshops.

Traditionally, legal strategies for promotion of human rights primarily involved constitutional and administrative law. While these strategies are important, the effect they have on human rights is sometimes limited due to poor implementation and insufficient enforcement. Civil litigation offers effective tools for ensuring ongoing compliance with human rights norms. Moreover, in a world where corporations are increasingly powerful—owning information about us and influencing our rights at least as much as governments—new legal strategies must be developed to safeguard human rights. In the past few years the Legal Clinics at the University of Haifa have embarked on several civil law projects that have highlighted the increasing need for expertise in civil law and civil litigation to effectively promote human rights.

Based on this insight and the positive experience we have had with civil litigation, a new clinic was established that focuses on promoting human rights in all areas and for diverse populations using the tools of civil litigation. The Clinic’s holistic approach will position it as a center of expertise for the benefit of the other clinics at the University of Haifa and other organizations and clinics in Israel. For example, this year the Clinic received three cases from the Public Defender’s Clinic concerning prisoners’ rights, a case from the Legal Feminism Clinic concerning a libel lawsuit filed against a victim of sexual violence, and a tort case concerning harm to a child with allergies in a daycare center.

As our faculty members and students gain more experience, the insights and results of civil litigation for human rights in Israel will be a source for academic research too.

Twelve students enrolled in the Clinic in its first year, all of them third-year students. They engaged in the following projects:

I. Debt

Legal aid to debtors

The Clinic offers legal aid to clients in debt. For example, the Clinic helped a single mother who was victim of domestic violence consolidate her numerous debts and set up a payment plan. In another case, the Clinic helped an elderly woman who doesn’t speak Hebrew who owes a large debt to Amidar, the public housing agency, arising from her status as guarantor for a public housing contract.

In addition to giving legal aid and representation in specific cases, the Clinic is also involved in challenging, through litigation and policy change, some of the structural injustices that affect debtors.

Mortgages and consolidating debt

In the fall semester, the Clinic filed an amicus curiae petition in a court case concerning the possibility of debtors to take a mortgage to buy their public housing flat. The case involved a public housing resident who was subject to a court-ordered payment plan with consolidated debts. When the debtor contracted to buy the public housing flat that he lived in and took out a mortgage to do so, the execution office canceled his payment plan, finding that he had incurred new debt. Canceling the payment plan made his monthly payment amount soar to a level that he was unable to pay. The Clinic argued that the mortgage should not be viewed as new debt, but rather as a “necessity.” The court accepted the claim and ultimately ordered reinstatement of the payment plan. Because many public housing residents have debt, the decision significantly improves their ability to purchase their homes.

Discrimination against debtors in the workplace

The Clinic represented a job candidate who was rejected after disclosing his debtor status. The candidate was told that he would not be hired because his debts showed that he was prone to employment delinquency. The case raised important issues concerning the treatment of poverty as a discrimination category. This is important also because of the statistical correlation between poverty and other discrimination classifications such as race, gender, and ethnicity. The client decided not to file a lawsuit; however, the Clinic met with the Commission for Equal Opportunity in the Workplace and the two will jointly promote policy change in this area next year.

Prisoners’ debt

People who are incarcerated are often poor and therefore have debt, either debt incurred before their incarceration, unrelated to the criminal offense, or debt that arose from fines or victim compensation. It is often impossible for them to make payments against their debt while incarcerated because they do not have income, and interest rates cause debts to swell. This severely threatens released prisoners’ ability to reintegrate into society. The Clinic filed a freedom-of-information request for information concerning the scope of additional debt created by interest on delayed payments. We received a reply and will analyze the data in the next academic year and decide how to proceed, in partnership with the Public Defender’s office, the Association of Civil Rights Israel (ACRI), Legal Aid Office, and Prisoner Rehabilitation Agency. Policy change must take into account society’s interest in rehabilitation and the rights of victims and prisoners’ creditors. Possibilities for policy change that will be examined include imprisonment instead of fines and payment programs for prisoners.

Guarantors in public housing contracts

As a result of the case (mentioned above) concerning a guarantor in a public housing contract, the Clinic decided to examine whether the rights of guarantors are being violated. We assume that guarantors are likely to be people from disadvantaged groups helping members of their family or social circles. If so, it is likely that they are vulnerable to infringement on their rights if the debtor defaults. In order to learn more about the issue, the Clinic filed a petition under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about the scope of lawsuits against guarantors and debts collected from guarantors. The Ministry of Housing replied that the housing agencies hold this information and that producing it would cost hundreds of thousands of shekels. The Clinic is currently corresponding with the Ministry concerning this response.

Default interest

During the spring semester, the Clinic, together with the ACRI, filed a position paper with the committee operating under the Interest Act. The committee, chaired by the Accountant General in the Finance Ministry, had published a call for information; the position paper was in response to that request. The position paper addressed the issue of interest imposed on default. Default interest aims to give people an incentive to repay their debt (as opposed to regular interest, which maintains the value of money, compensating the creditor for the use to which they could have put the money). The Clinic argued that the current situation is counterproductive because instead of improving debt collection rates, default interest decreases debtors’ ability to pay. Default interest prevents poor people from overcoming debt because any temporary inability to pay enlarges the debt beyond their ability to pay. The position paper offers several suggestions for legal change.

The Clinic, together with the ACRI, also commented on a bill that decreases default interest by 25% for debtors who adhere to the payment program set up by the execution office. Following previous comments submitted by the Clinic, the bill now also applies to institutions such as banks, cellular telephone companies, and finance companies that previously were explicitly excluded from the bill. The position paper recommends that the execution office have the authority to waive interest entirely, for the reasons set out above, and argues that once a debtor is paying their debt, default interest constitutes an unjustified punitive measure rather than an incentive.

II.  LGBTQ Rights

There is no legal clinic or legal human rights organization in Israel that focuses exclusively on the rights of the LGBTQ community. The Clinic therefore partnered with LGBTQ organizations and activists to use legal tools to promote the rights of members of the LGBTQ community. From its work throughout the year, the Clinic learned that the discrimination and social exclusion that members of this community are subjected to often have wide consequences, including poverty, debt, homelessness, and difficulty accessing medical care and social services. The Clinic seeks to find the links between the various legal problems and views all of them as different aspects of systemic discrimination and exclusion. The Clinic engages in both individual legal aid and representation and policy change to promote LGBTQ rights. Here are some examples:

VII. The Clinic gave legal aid to two transgender women who incurred debt to hospitals in which they were treated. In the first case, the woman was hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Due to encounters with transphobia, the woman did not obtain the forms and other documents needed to take care of the hospital bill, and she was sued by the hospital. The Clinic wrote to the hospital, and following this intervention, the hospital agreed to waive the debt. In the second case, a Druze transgender woman was repeatedly hospitalized after being violently attacked, and as a result she owed the hospital a large amount of money. The Clinic is currently helping her retroactively obtain the forms and documents required to obtain reimbursement of the hospitalization costs.

VIII.The Clinic represented a young homosexual male from whom money was being extorted based on his sexual orientation by a shopkeeper in his village. The client did not want to file a complaint with the police or seek help from his family. The Clinic wrote to the shopkeeper, and after this intervention the extortion ceased. The Clinic is now helping the youngster retrieve money he had paid in the past.

IX.The Clinic helped a nonbinary person who was denied entry to a club. The client filed a small claims lawsuit and after the defendant failed to appear in court the client was awarded damages.

X.The Clinic, together with “Project Gila for Trans Empowerment,” filed two petitions under to the Freedom of Information Act to the Sex-Change Committee, which were answered during the second semester. The Clinic is analyzing the information that was supplied and it will serve as a basis for action next year.

XI.Additionally, in the spring semester, the Clinic wrote to the Sex Change Committee concerning the Committee’s unequal treatment of persons choosing to have their medical procedures performed in different hospitals. In the letter, the Clinic argued that there are unjustifiable differences in the treatments it agrees to fund and the procedures that its clients need to undergo in order to access medical procedures from healthcare provider to healthcare provider (“Kupot Holim”). The Clinic asked the Ministry of Health to issue clarifications to all health care providers concerning conditions for eligibility for sex change treatment.

XII.In July 2019, the Clinic filed an Amicus Curiae petition on behalf of “Project Gila for Trans Empowerment,” the ACRI, and the LGBT Rights Association. The case concerned a transsexual woman who was denied public funding of facial feminization surgery. The Clinic argued that facial feminization surgery should not be categorized as aesthetic plastic surgery but rather as a medically justified procedure meant to treat “gender dysphoria,” a psychological condition recognized by the DSM arising from conflict between a person’s gender identity and the gender the person was assigned at birth. After a preliminary hearing, the court granted the Clinic amicus status and the case is pending.

III. Criminal Justice

The Clinic filed a tort lawsuit on behalf of a 16-year-old girl who was unlawfully arrested and detained. She was arrested after police officers searched her home in relation to a crime that her brothers were suspected of committing. During the search, the police found something in her belongings that looked like tools that might be used for breaking and entering. The girl was arrested and detained, against regulations, with an adult woman overnight and did not receive legal representation. The court released her, criticizing the police and stating that there was no probable cause for the arrest. The Clinic filed a 30,000 NIS lawsuit on her behalf in July 2019. The case is pending.

The Clinic was referred two other cases of unlawful detention by the Public Defender Clinic and offered legal advice to the clients.

IV. People with Disabilities

The Clinic gives legal aid to people with disabilities, and especially with psychiatric and cognitive disabilities, in a variety of civil law cases. For example, the Clinic is representing a person with a psychiatric disability object to an evacuation order from a supplier of protected housing, the Clinic is helping a woman with disabilities terminate a leasing contract for an apartment that is uninhabitable, and the Clinic is representing a woman with a disability in a case in which a bus driver refused to use a bus’s accessibility ramp to allow her to access the bus using her wheelchair. The Clinic wrote a letter to the bus company and is preparing a lawsuit.

V. Defense against a SLAPP Lawsuit

The Clinic (together with the Legal Feminism Clinic; see details there) represented a woman who was sued for libel for a Facebook post she wrote accusing a man of sexually assaulting her. The case was ultimately resolved in mediation.

VI. Children with Allergies

The Clinic is representing a child with allergies who was severely harmed because of an alleged lack of treatment by staff at a daycare center. The case was referred by the Education Law and Policy Clinic, which filed a petition concerning the regulations that apply to allergic children in educational institutions. The petition to the HCJ addresses the general policy and is complemented by the work of the Civil Litigation Clinic, which can address specific cases of harm caused by the policy.

VII. Haifa Rights Centers

The Clinic offers legal services to residents of the Western neighborhoods of Haifa in two community centers.

 

Clinical director: Adv. Sharon Ringer

Academic supervisor: Dr. Rabeea Assy

The Public Defender Clinic operates in cooperation with the Israel Public Defender’s office in Haifa. The students participating in the Clinic team with public defenders and assist them in representing suspects and defendants in criminal proceedings. The students meet with public defenders’ clients, many of whom are people from marginalized communities, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty. The students participating in the Clinic become part of the larger mission of creating access to justice for all people, thereby promoting social justice. The Clinic begins operating in the spring semester every year.

There are 9 students participating in the Clinic that began this spring and there were 15 in the Clinic that ended in the fall.

Clinical Director: Adv. Haran Reichman 

Academic director: Dr. Tammy Harel Ben Shahar


The Clinic for Law and Education Policy has been operating for eight years in the University of Haifa. Since its establishment, the Clinic has become a leading force in reforming the Israeli education system and promoting equal educational opportunity.
The Clinic deals with over 200 individual cases each year that arrive through the Equal Opportunity in Education Hotline, through social media, and through direct communication to the clinic director, Adv. Haran Reichman. Additionally, every year from mid-August to mid-September, around the beginning of the school year, the Clinic operates a telephone hotline for parents and students. The cases the Clinic deals with include breaches of the right to free education, discrimination in education, entitlements in special education, etc. The clients who approach the Clinic are from all groups in Israeli society, and the Clinic is especially mindful about providing legal assistance to members of disadvantaged and marginalized groups. When cases are not solved by writing letters or advocating to the education authorities, the Clinic files lawsuits on behalf of our clients. This year, the Clinic filed 10 lawsuits in various courts and took part in 10 Knesset committee discussions and 8 committees in the Ministry of Education, which discussed issues concerning special education, education for sick children, and parent payments.
In the 2019 academic year, 16 students participated in the Clinic and were involved in the following activities and projects:

I. Parents’ Payments in the Public Education System
In past years, the Clinic has been involved in a comprehensive nationwide struggle to restrict parents’ payments in the public education system. Since 2014, the Clinic has been involved in high-impact litigation challenging the legality of a regulation that allows extensive parents’ payments. An HCJ petition was filed on behalf of a coalition of organizations and numerous parents, and over the years there have been numerous hearings. A few days ago a decision was delivered rejecting the petition. The Clinic is learning the decision and considering filing a petition for additional review by the court.
In addition to the HCJ petition, the Clinic is involved in several actions aimed at promoting the right to free education. In December 2018, the Clinic filed a petition on behalf of parents of students in a girls’ high school in the settlement of Revava. According to the petition, the school illegally charged parents fees and used the money for purposes for which it was not allowed to use it. After the filing of the petition, the Ministry of Education conducted an inspection of the school and the school was ordered to return money to the parents.
The Clinic is also involved in several cases in which parents who did not pay illegal school fees face legal procedures by local authorities such as Ra’anana, Haifa, and Holon. Following the Clinic’s intervention, the legal proceedings in each case were withdrawn. It is clear, however, that this unacceptable practice is widespread.
Additionally, the Clinic is involved in several cases in which the Ministry of Education refused to produce school inspection reports concerning parental payments and financial management of schools. The Clinic wrote to the Ministry of Education arguing that the Freedom of Information Act requires the Ministry to disclose this information and that it is especially important that it do so because of the widespread phenomenon of illegal parental payments.

II. Refugee Children’s Right to Education
In the past several years, the Clinic has been involved in several cases in which local education authorities have refused to enroll refugee children in schools and kindergartens or segregated them into separate schools, despite the fact that the law explicitly gives all children residing in Israel the right to publicly funded free education.
This year the Clinic filed two petitions concerning refugee children’s right to education.
The first petition concerned the town of Natanya’s decision to enroll refugee children in segregated kindergartens. The second petition was against the town of Petah Tiqwa, which refused to enroll refugee children in educational institutions. Following the filing of the petitions, both towns reversed their initial decisions and agreed to enroll the children as the law requires. The Clinic is working to ensure that the local authorities comply with the ruling and their legal duties.

III. Free Education for Sick Children
Under the Free Education for Sick Children Act, children who cannot attend school for more than 21 days due to an illness are eligible for educational services in their homes. The Ministry of Education privatized this service and there have been many complaints about the quality and scope of the service. In past years the Clinic has given legal aid in tens of cases of sick students whose right to education was not adequately fulfilled. The Clinic also dealt with several general issues concerning sick children, including amending the law so it applies to children from the age of 3 (when education becomes compulsory).
In 2018, the Clinic filed a petition to the HCJ arguing that the Ministry of Education failed to publicize a program for sick children as it is required to do by law. Following the filing of the petition, the Ministry of Education drafted new regulations and the Clinic commented on them. A meeting concerning the regulations will be held after the elections.
Finally, the Ministry of Education recently decided to extend the contract with the current supplier of services for sick children. Our experience giving legal aid to sick children and their parents led us to oppose this decision, and we asked the Ministry of Education for information about this development and about an inspection of the service that was performed by the Ministry. After receiving the relevant information, the Clinic will decide whether there is a sufficient basis for a legal challenge to the Ministry’s decision.

IV. Students with Allergies
In the past few years, the Clinic has been representing “Yahel,” an NGO established by parents of children with allergies, in promoting the rights of children with allergies in the educational system. In November 2018, the Clinic filed a petition with the HCJ on their behalf and on behalf of tens of parents concerning the exclusion of children with allergies from day care centers. Parents of children with allergies were required to pay for medical aides for their children and the staff were not appropriately trained, putting the allergic children at risk. Additionally, the Ministry of Education had no clear regulations concerning the rights of children with allergies and no process of oversight to ensure that institutions are prepared to include children with allergies. On June 27, 2019 a hearing was held and the Ministry of Education declared that it would comply with a set of recommendations of a professional committee with regard to the treatment of children with allergies. The Clinic will follow the implementation of the decision. There is already disagreement about the source of funding for the children’s medical aides.
In one of the cases the Clinic handled a young child was severely harmed by the lack of treatment of his allergy. This case was referred to the Civil Litigation Clinic who is representing the parents in a tort lawsuit against the day care center.

V. Ultra-Orthodox Education
I. Discrimination in ultra-Orthodox school admissions
In January 2019, the Jerusalem District Court accepted a petition filed by the Clinic on behalf of an ultra-Orthodox family whose daughter was rejected by a school belonging to an ultra-Orthodox chain. The court accepted the claim that the school rejected the student for irrelevant reasons (to pressure the family into enrolling their sons in a new boys’ school in town) and stressed that the large ultra-Orthodox chains have duties as suppliers of public education for the ultra-Orthodox community.
The Clinic is currently representing another student who was not accepted to an ultra-Orthodox high school after failing an exam. In a letter to the Ministry of Education, the Clinic stressed that the right to community education does not mean that the ultra-Orthodox are exempt from the rules prohibiting student selection.
State ultra-Orthodox schools
Alongside the struggle against discrimination in the non-state ultra-Orthodox sector, the Clinic is supporting the movement to establish state ultra-Orthodox schools, of which there are already about 40 countrywide. The Clinic is advising several groups of ultra-Orthodox parents interested in establishing state schools for their children. One of these groups, from the village of Mevaseret Zion, decided to move forward with this mission. After their request to establish a school was denied by the local authority and Ministry of Education, the Clinic filed a petition on their behalf with the HCJ in July 2019. In the petition, we argued that the state has a duty to provide state education to all children and that the schools available are unsuitable for the petitioners. We also argue that state ultra-Orthodox schools serve a social interest, as they will enable the children to learn the core curriculum and integrate into Israeli society. The case is pending.

VI. Advisory Committee for the Arab Education System
In September 2017 the HCJ accepted a petition the Clinic filed on behalf of MK Hassan Jabarin, Prof. Muhamad Amarah, and the Dirassat Center concerning the Ministry of Education’s failure to establish an advisory committee for the Arab educational system despite its legal obligation to do so. After the Ministry of Education failed to comply with the order, this year the Clinic filed a petition to hold the state in contempt of court. The state argued that it should not be compelled to establish the committee during an election campaign, and the court accepted the claim but instructed the Ministry of Education to act according to the court order once the elections are over. The Clinic will monitor this situation to make sure the Ministry complies with the law.

VII. Admission Policy and Student Selection
Over the years, the Clinic has been involved in successful litigation combatting illegal selective admission policies. As a direct result of the Clinic’s actions, the Ministry of Education prevents illegal selection in most cases. There are still, however, some cases of illegal selection. This year the Clinic filed a petition against a religious high school in Givat Shmuel that refused to enroll students. At a hearing, the district court made it clear that the school could not reject the students, and subsequently the students were accepted to the school.

Clinical director: Adv. Dana Feinreich Gilo (social worker and mediator)

Academic director: Prof. Orna Rabinovich-Einy

The Dispute Resolution Clinic, which has completed its first year of activity, is a unique and innovative clinical program that aims to promote human rights and positive social change using the tools of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The underlying belief is that mediation and other dispute resolution tools benefit both sides of conflicts, and therefore the Clinic aims to raise awareness of the ADR approach and principles, both among students and among the general population.

According to the Clinic’s approach, a significant share of conflicts can be resolved through conversation and cooperation instead of through courts. Mediation can also maintain and even rehabilitate relationships that have been affected by conflict. Additionally, mediation can empower the parties because they maintain control over the proceedings and their voices are heard throughout. By learning and practicing mediation, people acquire interpersonal tools that improve communications and relationships and can eventually prevent further conflicts from arising.

Fifteen students participated in the Clinic this year. Before the academic year began, all the students participated in a mediation course (by Hagoshrim company) and were certified as mediators. During the year the students, engaged in the following activities:

I. Mediation in Small Claims Cases

The Clinic dealt with about 50 small claims cases that were referred to mediation. About half of those cases were eventually mediated by a senior mediator (either the Clinic director or other partner mediators) after the students had “intake” conversations with the parties. It should be stressed that the intake stage is challenging and sensitive, since the parties are not always “on board” and are often apprehensive about the procedure and its implications. Half of these mediations ended in a mediation agreement that was later approved by small claims court.

II. Mediation in Restorative Justice Processes

The Clinic handled two complicated cases of restorative justice in libel cases concerning sexual harassment. The cases required special sensitivity and repeated meetings. Both cases ended in meditation agreements that were approved by courts.

III. Mediation Tools Workshops for Marginalized Communities

The Clinic prepared and facilitated several workshops aimed at teaching tools of alternative dispute resolution to marginalized communities. The project was initiated by a student in the Clinic, and the first workshop was organized for people with intellectual disabilities living in an apartment in the community. The three-meeting workshop was a huge success and another workshop was conducted for the staff working with the people with intellectual disabilities. After this success, similar workshops, adapted for each specific audience, were conducted:

• A three-meeting workshop for people with intellectual disabilities in community housing in the Krayot

• A two-meeting workshop for staff of community housing in the Krayot

• Two two-meeting workshops for staff in the Sepharadi old people’s home in Haifa

• A two-meeting workshop for the senior class in the Israeli Scouts

• A workshop for people with disabilities at the “Shilo” NGO

• A meeting about dispute resolution tools at the Feminist Students Union at Haifa University

• A talk about dispute resolution tools at Unistream, an NGO for at-risk youth.

• “University for all,” a four-meeting workshop for disadvantaged adults who did not have access to higher education

IV. Funding of Mediation Centers

There are about 40 mediation centers operating countrywide; they deal with hundreds of cases that arise in the community or are referred by courts. Despite the scope of their activity and the benefit to the public, the centers are not funded in an organized way. Some local authorities voluntarily fund the centers, but most centers are severely underfunded and their staff often work without compensation.

The Clinic, together with Haifa Mediation Center, is working to ensure public funding for mediation centers. During the year, the Clinic collected information concerning the various mediation centers and their funding and based on this information will approach the relevant governmental units next year.

V. Dangerous Buildings Project

According to Haifa’s dangerous buildings regulation, buildings that are found to be dangerous must be fixed within 30 days, after which the owners are subject to fines. In order to take care of this, cooperation among residents is required, but with respect to buildings in the disadvantaged areas of town this is especially challenging. Together with Haifa Mediation Center, students in the Clinic worked with residents in a dangerous building and even helped arrange the building’s first residents meeting in order to reach agreements concerning the situation.

Additionally, the students involved in the project came to realize that the dangerous buildings regulation has several problems, especially when applied to areas and individuals who are disadvantaged. As a result, the students held meetings with several municipality employees and are examining possible solutions to the problems. A policy paper will be written to communicate the Clinic’s recommendations to decision makers.

VI. Conflict Resolution for Asylum Seekers

The Clinic, together with Beit Hagefen Mediation Center and the Social Work school at the University of Haifa, engaged in a project to map the kinds of conflicts that asylum seekers living in Haifa have and to offer them tailored dispute resolution services. The students interviewed eight asylum seekers, and although they were welcoming and happy to share their personal immigration stories, they were reluctant to share information about conflicts. This may be a result of general distrust and fear due to their vulnerable status in Israel.

During the summer the Clinic and its partners will meet and decide whether to pursue this project next year.

VII. Community Court Project

Community courts are a novel model of courts that aim to contend with recidivism by focusing on rehabilitation, restorative justice, and nurturance of the web of relations between the offender and the community. Community courts have been operating in Israel since 2014 in several localities, including Nazareth, Beer Sheva, Ramla, Tel Aviv, and Houra. The Clinic joined forces with other activists to promote the establishment of a community court in Haifa and was pleased to learn that this was going to happen. The students learned about community courts and their unique mode of operation and visited the community court in Tel Aviv.

VIII. ADR in Academic Disciplinary Cases

The Clinic wrote a policy paper examining the possibility of incorporating ADR mechanisms into the disciplinary procedures in universities in appropriate cases. The head of the university disciplinary committee, Prof. Sandy Kedar, agreed to conduct a pilot project to examine this option.

IX. Mediation Regulations

In December 2018, the Clinic submitted comments on drafts of regulations concerning mediation. Among other things, the Clinic recommended that when assigning mediators, the coordinating unit should consider the mediator’s education and its relevance to the case. Additionally, the Clinic recommended that the coordinating unit recommend three mediators to the parties and add a short explanation of the recommendations. This is meant to promote fairness and enhance choice for the parties.

Clinic director (professional and academic): Dr. Ilan Saban

The Clinic’s mission is to explore the legal issues related to the national schism in Israel and promote the rights of the Arab–Palestinian minority. Recognizing that some of these issues are sensitive and strongly contested within Israeli society, the Clinic aims to enable a peaceful and respectful discussion of them among Jewish and Arab students. The projects in the Clinic pertain to cases of discrimination against and exclusion of members of the Arab minority in Israel. By choosing discrimination cases, the Clinic functions within a shared middle ground of values according to Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which states that Israel “will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion race or sex.”

As stated above, Dr. Saban is both the professional and academic director; therefore, the Clinic enrolls half the number of students that other clinics enroll, and this year five students participated. Additionally, due to Dr. Saban’s teaching schedule, the Clinic was on break during the spring semester. The Clinic will resume activity in the fall semester. The report therefore includes the activity in the first semester.

I. Legal status of Palestinian teens in welfare institutions

The Clinic represented several young Palestinians who live in Israel in welfare institutions in cases raising issues regarding their legal status in Israel. In one case the Clinic filed a petition on behalf of a young woman who had lived in Israeli welfare institutions for several years and is now an adult. Following the filing of the petition, the state agreed to grant the client temporary residency; however, that was delayed because the client was required to undergo a security check. In a second case, the Clinic is currently preparing a petition to the HCJ on behalf of an Israeli resident who is seeking legal status for her children. In a third case, the Clinic wrote a letter to the registrar on behalf of a young woman whose mother was a resident of Eastern Jerusalem but whose legal status was never settled.

II. Discrimination in Government Advertising Agency

The Government Advertising Agency (GAA) is a governmental unit in charge of advertising important information to citizens concerning rights and entitlements, preparing for emergencies, safety, and other important topics. The data shows that the GAA severely underinvests in advertising in Arabic, with only 3%–4% of its budget going toward doing so. Together with NGO partners, the Clinic wrote repeatedly to the GAA demanding that it invest more in advertising directed to the Arab population. The GAA’s replies were insufficient, and therefore the Clinic began drafting a petition to the HCJ. In the meantime, however, the GAA changed its policy and increased its advertising in Arabic. The Clinic is monitoring developments and will decide whether a petition is still necessary.

An additional issue concerning the GAA is its policy of pressuring Arab media to publish content that is controversial in the Arab–Palestinian community, such as content encouraging national service (an alternative to Army service that is relevant to the Arab community) and content about celebrations of Israeli Independence Day. The Clinic sent a letter regarding this matter to the GAA in June 2018 and we are awaiting its answer.

III. Access to Cemeteries in Abandoned Villages

The Clinic partnered with “Elaksa,” an organization that focuses on cemeteries and religious buildings, to examine the issue of access to and preservation of cemeteries in Arab–Palestinian villages that were destroyed in 1948. Alongside several pending petitions concerning this issue (filed by Adala and by a private lawyer), the Clinic is examining possible policy initiatives.

IV. Special Lawyers Bill

Confidential evidence, especially in security cases, poses a special challenge with respect to defendants’ rights. In order to alleviate the problem, several MKs (from different political parties) drafted a bill that would provide for the designation of “special lawyers” who would be able to represent clients in these cases and be exposed to evidence. The Clinic wrote an opinion, which includes also a comparative survey of similar rules in other jurisdictions, on this bill. The opinion has been sent to MK Michal Rozin, one of the bill’s drafters. After the elections, the Clinic will begin promoting this bill. Additionally, the opinion paper will be published as an academic paper. 

The Legal Feminism Clinic

Clinical director: Adv. Vardit Avidan

Academic supervisor: Dr. Arianne Renan Barzilay

The Legal Feminism Clinic aims to stand at the forefront of feminist activism and employ a variety of sociolegal strategies to empower women and promote their rights. The Clinic stands out in comparison to other women’s organizations because it chooses especially complex and cutting-edge issues that have not been dealt with by others and because of its adoption of a unique combination of sociolegal strategies.

In the 2018–2019 academic year, the Clinic enrolled 16 students and engaged in the following activities:

I. Representation in Individual Cases

Appealing DA decisions to not press criminal charges

The Clinic dealt with five appeals of decisions to not press charges in cases of sexual assault and rape. Two of the appeals were denied. The third was filed and the decision is pending. The last two cases are still in progress and will be completed next year. In addition to filing appeals in individual cases, the Clinic is studying the cases to learn the general policy and analyze whether it represents the optimal treatment of sex crimes or a policy change is required.

Workplace discrimination

The Clinic represented clients in three cases of workplace discrimination this year. The first two concerned women who worked in an almost all-male company who alleged that a hostile environment in the workplace constituted sexual harassment and that they were fired because of sex discrimination. After investigating the cases, we decided the evidence could not support a lawsuit.

The Clinic is currently representing a woman who was discriminated against because she gave birth. After returning from maternity leave, she discovered that she was being removed from her previous position as an accountant and assigned to a secretarial position. While the Clinic was corresponding with the employer, the client became pregnant a second time, and subsequently the employer filed a request to fire her with the Ministry of Economy. The Clinic is trying to help the client prevent the dismissal and will then file a discrimination lawsuit.

Representing a defendant in a SLAPP lawsuit

The Clinic, together with the Civil Procedure Clinic, represented a woman who wrote a post on Facebook about a man who allegedly sexually assaulted her. The man sued her for libel and also filed a police complaint against her. The Clinics represented her in the civil lawsuit, and after a nine-hour (!) hearing during which the client testified and was cross-examined, the case was referred to mediation, where it was resolved. The cases raised fascinating and important questions concerning the use of shaming in social media and relations between client and lawyer in sensitive cases.

Suing the police for failure to take action

The Clinic is representing a transgender man who filed several complaints with the police after being harassed by a person. In one instance, the police caught the perpetrator while he was sexually attacking the client. Nevertheless, the perpetrator was released and the police failed to take any further action. Ultimately the client was shot and injured by the perpetrator, who was convicted and incarcerated for this crime. The Clinic has obtained two expert opinions and is currently in the process of preparing the lawsuit, which will be filed next year.

Compensation for a rape survivor

The Clinic is representing Irad Marziano in a civil lawsuit against Alon Kastiel, who was convicted of sex crimes. The lawsuit is ready and will be filed shortly. The Clinic also represented Marziano in her relations with Israeli media outlets that published that she was lying about the rape. The case is currently in mediation.

Social security pension for sexual assault survivors

The Clinic represented two survivors of sexual assault in their claims to the Institute of Social Security arguing that they should receive disability benefits. The ISS accepted both claims and found the clients eligible for benefits.

Protection orders

The Clinic represented two cases in which women requested protection orders from the court. In the first case, the client had been in a romantic relationship with a man but broke up with him and married someone else. The man harassed her in a variety of ways. After a hearing, the court entered the requested order. The second case involved a woman who was subjected to violence by her husband for 30 years. The court granted a protection order after the Clinic filed a request on her behalf and represented her in a hearing.

Distributing intimate photographs without consent

The Clinic represented a woman of whom a photographer took intimate photos and then posted the photographs on pornographic websites. While the woman had consented to being photographed, she did not agree to the distribution of the photographs. Following the Clinic’s intervention, the photographer removed the images from the websites.

II. Projects for Policy Change

Sociolegal services for victims of sex crimes (continued)

Victims of sexual assault and rape have various points of contact with public services: in criminal proceedings, in seeking medical treatment, and in approaching social services for assistance. The Clinic is performing a thorough examination of these services in regard victims’ rights.

The Institute of Social Security

Together with the Haifa Rape Crisis Center, the Clinic prepared a guide detailing victims of sex crimes’ eligibility for disability benefits. The guide is now being translated and will be made public through different platforms, including the website of the Institute of Social Security.

Complaint procedure

At the end of last year, the Clinic launched an online survey aimed at learning more about victims’ experiences with the procedure of filing a complaint with the police. There was an insufficient number of responses, so the survey was disseminated again this year and the results are being analyzed now. The Clinic will examine whether policy changes are required and will act in accord with its decisions next year.

Victim privacy in court proceedings

After a case of sexual harassment in the workplace, the Labor Court ordered that the victim’s psychologist hand in all reports and records concerning the case. A petition to the HCJ was filed concerning the case, and the Clinic, together with another organization (Tmura), filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Psychologist Association, arguing that such an order severely violates the victim’s privacy and violates the ethical and professional duties of psychologists and other therapists. In July 2019, the court handed down a decision holding that psychologists are not required to disclose reports.

Acute rooms in emergency rooms

The Clinic has been involved in the process of policy change concerning acute rooms in emergency rooms, and this work has continued this year in partnership with ACRI and Yael Sherer. The issues dealt with this year include opening additional acute rooms (in Eilat and in the Sharon area) and training staff in acute rooms, and at the end of the second semester the Clinic filed a legal position paper concerning the division of responsibility between different governmental units concerning the operation of acute rooms.

Incest above the age of 21

In the last few years, the Clinic drafted a bill aimed at filling a lacuna in Israeli law according to which incest is a crime only when the victim is under the age of 21. Not only are victims unable to prosecute offenders, they also cannot seek sociolegal help. This year, the Clinic filed a freedom-of-information application asking how many cases of adult incest were handled by the police and Das offices. The information will support the promotion of the legislative amendment after the elections.

Economic violence (continued)

In March 2019, the Clinic was involved in organizing a roundtable for activists and lawyers from women’s organizations concerning economic and emotional violence. In the roundtable, the Clinic presented a policy paper on the topic. In July, another meeting with this coalition of organizations took place, during which plans were made for legal action to contend with economic violence.

Women’s health care

• Maternity and childbirth

The Clinic is examining complaints by women whose autonomy or privacy was infringed on, or who were subjected to other inappropriate treatment or violence, by healthcare providers when giving birth.

• Abortion committee

The Clinic launched a survey meant to collect information regarding various problems and infringement on rights that women suffer in their interaction with the committee for approving abortions. The Clinic is currently collecting data and will analyze it and present the findings in a roundtable planned for next year (in partnership with the Center for Law Gender and Policy).

Establishing a feminist student union in Haifa University

The Clinic led the way in establishing a feminist student union in the University of Haifa that will organize activities for the whole student body and promote issues concerning women’s rights. This year the union had several meetings, including a mediation workshop (instructed by students from the Dispute Resolution Clinic) and a lecture by the commissioner for prevention of sexual harassment on campus.

Sexual harassment on campus

The Clinic represented a student from another university in Israel who was sexually harassed by a teaching assistant. The student claimed that the university mishandled the complaint and disciplinary procedure, and the Clinic approached the university on her behalf, requesting that changes be made to the procedure.

III. Legal Aid in Rights Centers

Legal aid to women in prostitution

In the past two years, students enrolled in the Clinic have provided legal aid to women in prostitution, in partnership with NGOs that give social aid to these women. The legal aid primarily involved legal issues associated with poverty—debt, social security, and housing—and also challenges unique to women in prostitution.

Understanding the main legal issues that women in prostitution face, the Clinic has written a 54-page guide in simple language that will be disseminated both electronically and in print. The guide will also be translated into Arabic, Amharic, and Russian. The translation, graphic design, and printing of the guide was funded by award money that Adv. Vardit Avidan received from the Yaari Foundation in 2018 for her work in promoting women’s rights.

Rights centers in Haifa

The Clinic grants legal aid to clients in the Clinics’ two rights centers in Haifa and in the healthcare clinic in Hadar.

International Women’s Day on campus

Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day, the Clinic places and staffs a stand in a central location on campus to raise awareness for women’s rights and funds for promoting them. This year the Clinic collected donations of cosmetic products for women living in shelters for victims of domestic violence after learning that the shelters suffer from a chronic shortage of equipment, including cosmetics and feminine care products. Students wrapped the donated products and attached written messages of solidarity and support.

Clinical director: Dr. Adv. Dalit Ken-Dror Feldman

Academic director: Dr. Daniel Benoliel

The Clinic for Law, Technology and Cyber aims to address unique legal challenges that arise in the digital age. Focusing on the effects on human rights and the public interest, the students in the Clinic examine new technologies and applicable legal regulations. Typically, legal regulation lags behind technological development, which creates challenges such as algorithmic discrimination, intrusion on privacy, and infringement of free speech on the internet. Additional legal challenges involve the adaptation of intellectual property law to the digital world and tortious and criminal responsibility for harms created by technology.

The Clinic was established ten years ago and was the first of its kind in Israel; it maintains, to this day, a leadership role in the growing field of technology and cyber law, initiating and leading coalitions, organizing conferences, and taking part in numerous projects. Together with the Haifa Center for Law and Technology and the Center for Cyber Law and Policy at the faculty, the Clinic is at the forefront of cyber and technology law in Israel.

This year 15 students participated in the Clinic and were involved in the following projects:

I. Online Freedom of Speech Project

Legislation restricting online speech

In the past two years, the Clinic has led a coalition of organizations devoted to combatting legislative attempts to restrict online speech. The Clinic has written several position papers, commented on legislation drafts, and participated in Knesset committees to this end.

Additionally, the Clinic organized a conference (December 2018) about online freedom of speech during an election period, which included talks about the use of bots, blocking and removal of content from the web, and other topics. The conference was funded by a 20,000 NIS grant awarded the Clinic by the Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL).

Alternative enforcement

Alternative enforcement refers to the state approaching online platforms such as Facebook and YouTube and asking them to remove or block content according to the platform’s policy. These requests are usually successful and the content is removed. The process is identical to that of private individuals reporting content to platforms and therefore lacks transparency and public oversight. The Clinic, together with partners, wrote to the district attorney asking that the practice be formalized in regulations and recommending that a public entity oversee these requests. The DA replied that the practice will be formalized; however, the recommendation to establish an oversight body was rejected.

Confidentiality of the state archives

The Clinic wrote to the attorney general concerning a pending amendment to a state archives regulation that will extend the confidentiality period of all material categorized as sensitive for security reasons by twenty years. The Clinic argued that confidentiality should be extended on a case-by-case basis rather than wholesale. In February 2019, the attorney general replied that after reexamining the issue, it was determined that there is a security necessity to extend confidentiality to all the material.

Blocking users from public figures’ pages on social media

The Clinic approached the attorney general and recommended that rules should be issued concerning blocking users from public figures’ pages on social media. The Clinic, representing several academics and organizations, argued that public figures and entities should be required to enable more free speech on their pages than private individuals. The attorney general replied that the issue would be examined with regard to ministers in the government. The Clinic is writing a policy paper outlining the appropriate rules regarding blocking users from pages.

The bot project

During the month before the elections, the Clinic, in partnership with several other organizations, opened a hotline to which people could report profiles on social media that were suspected to be fake. The aim of the project was to expose fake profiles and groups on social media designed to influence Israeli elections by streaming fake news or otherwise skewing the online marketplace of ideas. The project was designed to locate, manually examine, and report fake profiles. The Clinic dealt with over 500 reports of fake profiles, and many of these were subsequently removed by the platforms.

The Clinic was also involved in writing terms of use of a technological tool for recognizing fake profiles on Twitter that was developed in a Hakathon held at the University of Haifa.

Approaching the second 2019 elections in September, the Clinic is preparing to resume this project, and in addition to removing fake profiles and groups, the project will combat cases of unidentified use of telecommunications (such as SMS) for political campaigns.

II. Regulation of Drones (Continued)

Regulation of drones is severely lacking in Israel, especially with respect to noncommercial uses (recreational and home use). The Clinic conducted a comparative study of the regulation of drones and then initiated a forum of stakeholders with the goal of agreeing on a set of self-regulations to avoid outside imposition of regulations. In June 2018, the Clinic held a roundtable at the Faculty of Law with representatives from insurance companies, developers, government officials, researchers, and private lawyers. The roundtable addressed issues of tort law, privacy, cybersecurity, and import and export. The insights of the roundtable and the Clinic’s survey of regulations were presented in the Knesset at the end of June. In 2019, comprehensive legal reform was proposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel. The Clinic responded to that proposal.

The Clinic is cooperating with the robotics lab at the University of Haifa, which is led by Dr. Dan Feldman.

III. Technological Entrepreneurship Project

Capital Raising

The clinic is researching investment in start-ups by angel investors in Israel. The research explores whether the relatively small amount of such investments is due to insufficient incentives. We are also mapping the advantages and disadvantages of crowd-funding for entrepreneurs. Additionally, the Clinic is examining investment by large institutional investors (banks, insurance companies, etc.) in technological entrepreneurship, and next year will examine whether this should be incentivized. Last but not least, the Clinic is writing a position paper on the question of whether entrepreneurs’ activities before a company is established are binding on the company.

Women entrepreneurs

The Clinic, together with the Legal Feminism Clinic, examined whether there are gender gaps in entrepreneurship, for example with regard to the ability to raise capital, and whether regulation or state support to promote equal opportunity would be justifiable. The students collected information and are in the process of preparing a policy paper. The project will continue next year.

 

Legal guide

The Clinic prepared a legal guide for entrepreneurs taking their first steps in the business world. The project is based on the understanding that entrepreneurs are often uneducated in the legal aspects of their business, and start-ups are often unable to fund legal services in the first stages of establishing their business.

The guide explains several crucial legal topics: intellectual property concepts such as patents, trademarks and copyrights; basic knowledge about the process of raising capital; due diligence; founders’ agreements; and the implications of using open source software. Additionally, the Clinic is writing a guide detailing companies’ duties with respect to privacy in technological apps.

The guide is written in Hebrew and is in the final stages of being edited.

IV. Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are now entering the experimental stage in Israel, and it is expected that they will be in use in the coming years. A Clinic project addresses various legal issues that autonomous vehicles raise, including tort law, criminal law, and privacy issues, and policy papers were written and addressed to relevant policy makers. The findings of the project were presented in an international conference and published in a legal blog in May 2019.

The Clinic partnered with the Center for Transportation in the Technion and will collaborate with that body on policy issues.

V. Copyright Regulation

The Clinic helped the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute design its copyright regulations for a project concerning women’s rights. The Clinic was awarded a grant for this activity.

VI. Access to Knowledge in Higher Education

The Clinic has been involved in this project for several years; it is designed to improve public access to copyrighted material. The Clinic co-established a forum comprising representatives from most of the institutions of higher education in Israel. The forum formulated a set of agreed principles of fair use.

Due to growing need, the forum reconvened in February 2018 to examine the implementation of the principles that were decided upon in the forum, their interpretation, and any new challenges that had arisen. This year the Clinic finalized the procedure for depositing theses, created a specialized form, and wrote a short paper to the Vatat (the committee for the funding and planning of higher education in Israel) explaining the new procedure and form and stressing the importance of open access for higher education and research.

VII. Conferences and Lectures

During the year, the Clinical director organized and participated in several conferences and academic and public lectures. Additionally, she was appointed as the secretary of a subcommittee of the national initiative for intelligent systems on ethics and regulation of artificial intelligence headed by Prof. Karine Nahon.

Clinical director: Adv. Samar Qudha

Academic supervisor: Prof. Sandy Kedar

The Human Rights in Society Clinic engages in legal action aimed at promoting human rights, empowering marginalized groups, and preventing social exclusion. In the 2018–2019 academic year, the Clinic was involved in three main topics: housing and planning rights, access to health care, and the rights of asylum seekers and people with no legal status.

Next year the Clinic will see change in its focus and activities. Dr. Itamar Mann will replace Prof. Sandy Kedar as the academic director of the Clinic, and the Clinic will do clinical work concerning international human rights law and refugee rights alongside the existing projects related to housing and social and economic rights. The Clinic will lead the partnership initiated this year with the Technion student-led healthcare clinic in Hadar, which gives free health care to asylum seekers and other undocumented people. The Clinic’s trips to Greece to give legal aid and legal translation to asylum seekers will also hopefully continue, and policy change work will also be done concerning asylum seekers’ right to healthcare.

The Clinic enrolled 8 students in the 2018–2019 academic year and they were involved in the following projects:

I. Housing rights

The Clinic represented individual clients in cases involving housing rights. In one case the Clinic represented sisters who live in public housing in their dealings with the housing agency when their public housing needed renovating. In two other cases the Clinic represented individuals in eviction lawsuits. In one of the cases the eviction order was set aside, and the other is still pending. The Clinic is also representing a woman with a psychiatric disability in her attempt to access public housing.

The Clinic was also involved in projects for policy change concerning housing rights. The first involves renovations in public housing. From the cases that the Clinic has handled over the years, we have learned that there are several systemic problems with the way public housing agencies take care of renovations and repairs in public housing. The Clinic prepared a policy paper concerning the duties of transparency, participation, and due process in relation to renovations of public housing properties. We are waiting for the reply and will examine possible actions next year.

The second policy change project concerns translating the Amidar website into Arabic. In January 2019, the Clinic sent a letter to the legal advisor to the Amidar public housing agency requesting that the agency website be translated into Arabic. Amidar responded in March, stating that under the new Nation-State Basic Law there is no duty to maintain websites in Arabic and the services that Amidar gives in Arabic are given voluntarily, beyond the letter of the law. After this correspondence, the Clinic wrote to the attorney general asking him to advise Amidar and other agencies that they have a duty to supply services in Arabic when appropriate and that the Nation-State Basic Law does not retract this duty. The Clinic is awaiting the attorney general’s reply and is considering petitioning the HCJ on this matter.

II. Refugee rights

• Legal aid in the asylum seeker healthcare clinic in Haifa

Students in the Clinic, together with the clinic director, went once or twice a week to the student-led healthcare clinic in Hadar, Haifa, run by the Technion that gives healthcare to asylum seekers and other people who do not have legal status in Israel. The legal issues that the Clinic deals with vary, and include legal status in Israel, healthcare rights, poverty law, and labor law.

In one case the Clinic is representing a client who was denied legal status because of two minor criminal offenses many years before. As a result the Clinic decided to examine the rules concerning denial of legal status based on criminal history. The Clinic filed a freedom-of-information request and examined a regulation concerning this issue. The Clinic is preparing a policy paper with recommendations for amending the regulations.

• Legal aid and translation to asylum seekers in Greece

In 2017 the Clinic initiated a project in partnership with a German Refugee Clinic that gives legal aid to asylum seekers in the Greek island of Chios, which is an entry point for asylum seekers. The German refugee Clinic is located on the Island and its members help asylum seekers in the process of application for asylum, inform them of their rights and about the procedure, help them prepare their documents and application, and escort them to the interview. The German clinic was faced with a severe language barrier, since their staff and volunteers do not speak Arabic, and the asylum seekers know little English. The German Clinic sought our help in bringing Arab speaking students to translate and give legal aid in Arabic.

After a process of preparation in Israel students, accompanied by Adv. Samar Qudha, the director of the legal clinic and Dr. Itamar Mann set off to Chios, for 14 days and gave legal translation and legal aid for the asylum seekers. The experience was highly successful, and three trips were conducted over the period of two years. This year, the German Clinic hired a full-time translater on the island and therefore we are seeking an alternative cooperation to continue this activity.

III. Realizing health care rights

The Clinic represented people with disabilities who were not granted their healthcare rights in two cases. Both are pending.