Developing a Standard Operating Procedures for the Specialized Court in Cases of Violence Against Women
palestine (Palestinian Territory)
UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
UN Women plays an innovative and catalytic role in the State of Palestine since its inception in 1997. UN Women Palestine County Office focuses its activities on one overarching goal, namely to support the empowerment of Palestinian women and girls and to allow them to enjoy their human rights. In support of this goal and thoroughly taking into consideration the specificities of the context in Palestine, UN Women concentrates its efforts and interventions in its current strategic cycle (2018-2021) toward the realization of four strategic goals: Ensuring that women have income security, decent work and economic autonomy, all women and girls live a life free from all forms of violence, women and girls contribute and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and from humanitarian action, and a comprehensive and dynamic set of global norms, policies and standards on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is strengthened and implemented.
In line with the Palestinian Government’s commitment to achieve gender equality and combat Violence against Women (VAW), and in full partnership with the Justice and Security Sectors, including the Public Prosecution (PP), the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP), the High Judicial Council (HJC), the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) and the Supreme Judge Department (SJD) , UN Women, within its joint programme with UNDP and UNICEF “Promoting the Rule of Law in Palestine- SAWASYA II” is supporting the Justice and Security institutes to mainstream gender into their procedures and policies, and develop and provide gender responsive services to women victims and survivors of violence, through providing institutional capacity building and policy level interventions amongst others.
The judiciary is uniquely placed to ensure that relevant criminal laws, including those relating to gender-based violence are interpreted through the lens of international standards and norms; effectively enforced; protect women and girls from violence, including from the recurrence of violence; hold perpetrators accountable; and provide effective reparations for victims and survivors of violence. In October 2017, the Palestinian Chief Justice assigned a group of 31 judges from different courts’ grades and governorates to manage and adjudicate VAW cases. In August 2018, the Chief Justice issued a decision to establish a specialized judiciary for VAW cases. Since then, UN Women within SAWASYA II programme has been supporting the High Judicial Council (HJC) to build the capacity and knowledge of VAW specialized judges and enhance the responsiveness of the courts’ practices. UN Women’s support to the HJC included amongst others; the provision of specialized training programmes on responsive adjudication, exchange study tours, and sensitization and awareness workshops on VAW, gender justice and protection of victims of VAW.
Acknowledging the importance of a defined and unified framework and procedures to guide, inform and institutionalize the work of the specialized judiciary, UN Women in collaboration with the HJC is planning to develop a Standards Operating Procedures (SoPs) for the management and adjudication of VAW cases in courts. The (SoPs) will define the normative and standards procedures that should guide and inform the management of VAW cases in courts, from the moment the case reaches the court until the court ruling is enforced. They are envisaged to translate effective and responsive criminal justice response to VAW cases, into operational procedures that are based on responsive interpretation of national legal texts in line with the Palestinian Basic Law and international standards, and guided by a victim- centered and gender justice approach.
Objective of the assignment:
The main objective of the assignment is to develop a (SoPs) for VAW Specialized judiciary in line with international human rights and gender justice standards and best practices. This will support the HJC to institutionalize the work of the VAW judiciary within a responsive environment and enable VAW judges to provide effective and responsive judicial services and criminal justice responses to women victims and survivors of violence, within a harmonized and defined operational and standards framework.
More specifically, the assignment includes the following specific objectives:
- To identify major challenges facing women in courts in their pursuance of justice from the view of women or women organizations and VAW judges. and propose procedures and guiding principles to address them.
- To identify best practices and standards in the management and adjudication of VAW cases based on related international frameworks and lessons learned and best practices from international and regional experiences.
- To propose guiding principles to enhance the role of judges in protecting victims during the criminal process and enhancing women’s access to justice, including while interacting with victims and examining evidentiary issues, in addition to promoting gender responsive practices and discourses, and incorporating women’s rights perspective into the decision-making process.
- To identify and analyse opportunities for cooperation with other stakeholders within the sector, and propose related mechanisms, particularly with the VAW Specialized Prosecution (SPPs), the Supreme Judge Department (SJD), the Family and Juvenile Protection Unit (FJPU) at the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) and the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD).
- To develop comprehensive procedures on the management of VAW cases. The SoPs should include a section on related definitions, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, principles of responsive adjudication and interpretation of laws in line with international treaties, detailed procedures from the moment the case reaches the court until the court decision is enforced, examples on responsive judicial precedents, accountability measures and other aspects as needed.
To achieve this, UN Women is seeking to hire an experienced national consultant to lead the assignment through full engagement with the HJC and its’ partners in the justice, security and social sectors.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of UN Women’s Special Representative and the direct supervision of UN Women Rule of Law Programme Specialist, the national consultant will be responsible for the following tasks:
1. Development of an inception report that includes the work plan and the methodology:
- To prepare a work plan for the assignment, including the main objectives, target groups, time frame and deliverables and submit for UN Women for review and approval.
- To prepare a methodology and submit for UN Women for review and approval. The methodology should notably consider the following:
- A variety of tools that ensure the provision of first- hand and secondary data
- Literature review of similar frameworks developed at the national, regional, and international levels, including related assessment reports
- Collective and bilateral meetings, consultations, and interviews with representatives of concerned institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs) or women beneficiaries of court services, and experts in the field.
Ensuring ongoing partnership and participation of national stakeholders throughout the design, drafting and finalizing the methodology and its execution, all through the finalization of the SoPs.
2. Data collection and analysis and development of the draft (SoPs):
- To collect first- hand and secondary data on challenges facing women pursuing justice in Palestine; and best practices and standards on management and adjudication of VAW cases.
- To conduct literature review for national, regional and international related frameworks.
- To analyse data, prepare a draft (SoPs) and share with UN Women for review and inputs. The SoPs should be based on a victim- centred and human rights approach, that prioritizes victims’ and survivors’ rights, protection and access to justice. They should be in line with international human rights and gender justice standards, and reflect a responsive interpretation of national legal texts and procedures, including norms and standards associated with the role of judges in protecting victims and survivors of violence and enhancing their access to justice. Judicial precedents in the area of VAW cases should be annexed to the relevant chapters of the (SoPs).
- To facilitate consultation sessions with stakeholders and UN Women for inputs on the SoPs.
3. Finalization of the development of the (SoPs) and the development of narrative reports:
- Based on comments and inputs provided by stakeholders and UN Women, amend and finalize the development of the (SoPs) and related annexes and templates.
- Prepare and submit a progress and a final report. The progress report should include an update on the assignment, progress made, and challenges faced, in addition to minutes of meetings, workshops and sessions as annexes. The final report should include an overall description of the assignment, its objectives, achievements, challenges, lesson learned and recommendations. Minutes of related meetings, sessions and workshops should be annexed.
Moreover, the consultant will be responsible to:
- In close consultation and guidance from UN Women, form a reference group from the HJC, and UN Women team to advise on the outline and the content of the SoPs.
- Work in close cooperation and coordination with the Programme team and the HJC VAW focal points.
- Provide ongoing updates through in-person and virtual meetings with UN Women and the HJC team to update on progress and challenges of the assignment.
- Meet with other stakeholders, as needed, notably with the SPPs, FJPUs, and the MoSD.
The assignment has three main deliverables including the following:
The first deliverable includes the following items:
- A final approved inception report that includes a work plan, and a detailed methodology as described in the section under duties and responsibilities.
The second deliverable includes the following items:
- A draft approved comprehensive (SoPs) on the management of VAW cases as per the approved outline by UN Women and the HJC- Approved progress report that includes an update on the assignment, progress made, and challenges faced, in addition to minutes of meetings, consultation sessions and workshops as annexes.
The third deliverable includes the following items:
- A final approved SoPs
- A final approved report that includes an overall description of the assignment, its objectives, achievements, challenges, lessons learned and recommendations. Minutes of related meetings, interviews sessions and workshops should be annexed.
The assignment is expected to start in August and end in December 2020, with a total of approximate 50 working days.
Fluency in Arabic and professional knowledge in English
CORE VALUES / GUIDING PRINCIPLES:
- Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
- Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
Cultural Sensitivity / Valuing diversity:
- Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Leading by Example
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies: http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf
- Sound knowledge of gender justice and women’s human rights’.
- Strong knowledge of the applicable legal framework and IHRL and related national and international frameworks.
- Sound experience in research writing, and policy analysis on justice issues with particular focus on gender justice.
- Strong knowledge in the preparation of policy frameworks and or procedures.
- Sound knowledge of the Justice and Security systems in Palestine, including roles and responsibilities of key players.
- Strong dialogue and communication skills.
Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships with clients, demonstrating understanding of client’s perspective; anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly.
Required Skills and Experience
- MA degree in Law, gender and law, international human rights law, criminology, or any other related field.
- At least 6 years working experience in the field of law, VAW and gender justice.
- At least 5 years working experience in research writing with focus on justice, VAW, gender justice and women’s rights.
- At least 2 previous assignments related to preparing organizational frameworks, and or SoPs or policy framework with focus on gender justice and VAW.
- At least 2 previous related assignments with the Justice sector on issues related to gender equality.
- Experience with the UN system or/ and International Organizations is considered an asset.
Fluency in Arabic and professional knowledge in English.
This SSA modality is governed by UN Women General Terms and Conditions. UN Women will only be able to respond to applicants who meet the minimum requirements.
Candidates should clearly indicate how they meet the above-mentioned criteria in their applications.
The following documents should be submitted as part of the application. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials:
- P11 including past experience in similar assignments; can be downloaded at http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment, a signed copy should be submitted
Candidates should have the ability to quickly submit degree certificates, medical certification (of good health) expression of Interest (EoI) and sample of previous work should they be short-listed in consideration of this consultancy.
Evaluation of applicants:
Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications mentioned above, and financial proposal. A contract will be awarded to the individual consultant whose offer receives the highest score out of below defined technical and financial criteria. Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 50 points in the technical evaluation will be considered for financial evaluation.
Long listed Candidates should provide a sample of a developed organizational framework or SoPs or policy related frameworks, with particular focus on VAW or gender justice.
Technical Evaluation (70%) – max. 70 points:
- Relevant education (max 10 points)
- At least 6 years working experience in the field of law, VAW and gender justice. (max 10 points)
- At least 5 years working experience in research writing with focus on justice, VAW, gender justice and women’s rights. (max 15 points)
- At least 2 previous assignments related to preparing organizational frameworks, and or SoPs or policy framework with focus on gender justice and VAW. (max 10 points)
- At least 2 previous related assignments with the justice sector on issues related to gender equality. (max 10 points)
- Experience with the UN system or/ and International Organizations is considered an asset. (max 5 points)
- Sample of a developed organizational framework or SoPs or policy related frameworks, with particular focus on VAW or gender justice. (max 10 points)
Financial Evaluation (30%) – max. 30 points.
The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal. All other price proposals receive points in inverse proportion. A suggested formula is as follows:
p = 30 (µ/z)
Using the following values:
p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
z = price of the proposal being evaluated
Only long-listed candidates will be contacted