Major Achievements

2009

 

Discrimination against Arab Citizens: In cooperation with other organizations, the Human Rights Clinic represented Arab railway workers who were dismissed due to Israel Railways' new policy requiring army service as an employment condition (note: Arab citizens are exempt from serving in the Israeli army). The court ordered Israel Railways to change its policy; the workers returned to their jobs.

 

Refugee Rights - Right to Family Life: In a case handled by the Refugee Rights Clinic, the Jerusalem Administrative Court ruled that a recognized refugee has the right to family life and is entitled therefore to sponsor his partner for legal status in Israel.

 

2008

 

The Refugee Rights Clinic receives the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award presented annually by ACRI – Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The award committee wrote: "The program is a pioneer in everything relating to one of Israel’s worst failures concerning human rights - the lack of policy for the treatment of refugees… The Refugee Rights Clinic… operates from within an academic institution and provides an effective expression to the way the 'ivory tower' does not confine itself to the limited boundaries of academic research, but harnesses academic power and student energies to confront an actual human crisis, far away from the lecture halls or the research classes."

 

Economic Justice: The Micro-business and Economic Justice Clinic successfully campaigned for a change in Israel's welfare regulation that now allows welfare recipients who are starting their own business to receive income support for another 18 months after the beginning of their economic activity. Before the change, micro-entrepreneurs lost their welfare allowances immediately after they had established their business.

 

2007

 

Right to Organize: The Workers' Rights Clinic provided substantial legal support and infrastructure to Koach La Ovdim - Democratic Workers' Organization during its founding period. The establishment of a new, independent general trade union marks a historic event for labour in Israel.

 

Prisoners' Rights: Following a petition by the Human Rights Clinic on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), the Supreme Court confirmed the right of all detainees in Israel to have a bed to sleep on and instructed the Prison Service to immediately stop bedding prisoners on the floor, despite the absence of a specific law obliging the state to provide prisoners with beds.

 

Contract Workers Rights: A precedent-setting court ruling in a case litigated by the WRC declared that an institution/a third party commissioning services from a contracting company is responsible for payment of the contract worker's rights, even though they do not have employer - employee relations.

 

2006

 

Refugee Rights: Following a petition to the Supreme Court by the Refugee Rights Clinic and the Hotline for Migrant Workers challenging the practice of administrative detention of refugees without periodic judicial review, over 400 Sudanese asylum seekers were released from prison after their cases had been reviewed by a newly-appointed internal advisor.

 

Migrant Workers' Rights: In a petition submitted by then Welfare Rights Clinic, the Supreme Court ordered the state to allow migrant workers to change employer. The Court stated that the current employment scheme was unconstitutional because – like slavery – it turned migrant workers from subjects to objects of the law.

 

2005

 

Gay and Lesbian Rights: The right of same sex couples to inherit from their partners, even if they do not leave a will, was recognized by an Israeli court and by the Attorney General. The case was litigated by the Human Rights Clinic.

 

2003

 

Rights of People with Mental Disabilities: The right of people with mental disabilities to legal representation in involuntary commitment hearings was recognized in a case handled by the Human Rights Clinic.

 

2002

 

Rights of Disabled People: The right of toddlers with serious disabilities to transportation to rehabilitative daycare centers was recognized, and pre-school children (aged 1-3) were included in the 1994 Safe Transportation Law for Children with Disabilities. The case was handled by the Human Rights Clinic.

 

2001

 

Right to Water: A case litigated by then Jaffa Community Law Clinic led to a new policy that forbids disconnecting water from poor families who cannot afford to pay their water bills. However, until today, enforcement remains incomplete.

 

2000

 

Environmental Justice - Right to Health: As a result of legal advocacy conducted by the Environmental Justice Clinic, the government was ordered to approve a new program to solve a sewage problem that harmed the health and environment of Bedouin citizens in unrecognized villages.

 

1995

 

Right to Counsel: Under the academic supervision of Prof. Kenneth Mann, the Criminal Justice Clinic served as a model and catalyst for the establishment of the National Public Defender's Office in Israel.

 

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