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Case against gender segregation rejected
December 17, 2015, 8:52 am
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The Constitutional Court, presided over by Judge Yusuf Al-Mutawa, on Wednesday rejected Petition No. 13/2015 concerning the constitutionality of Co-Education Law No. 24/1996 which regulates higher studies at Kuwait University, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), and the private schools.

Earlier, the court decided to accept the petition filed by Attorney Hussein Al-Asfour and some Kuwait University students, who challenged the constitutionality of the Segregation Law applied in universities and other academic institutions.

The petitioners argued that the law contravenes several articles of the Constitution which guarantees equality, while the implementation of the law caused a lot of disruption in higher learning circles and has also been proven to be expensive.

The law in question was enacted by the Parliament in 1996. Article One of the law stipulates a grace period of five years, starting from the day the law took effect, for the government to develop the infrastructure of higher learning institutions in a bid to smoothen the implementation of this law. The court clarified the right of education is guaranteed by the Constitution as stated in Articles 13 & 14 wherein education is considered a fundamental requisite for the progress of society.

Education is assured and promoted by the State, such that everyone has the right to choose the type of education which suits his objectives and abilities. The court pointed out that as long as the constitutional rights on this matter have not been limited or ‘squeezed’, the issue is in the hands of the legislative authority so the court has no control over codifying the law and the related regulations.

On the petitioners’ argument regarding the difficulties faced by students in finding suitable sectors, the court affirmed that the problem is the implementation of the law, not its constitutionality.

Despite the fact that segregation is a purely Islamic law, it becomes legally binding only when the legislators enact it; hence, the matter has no relation with constitutionality as it is under the jurisdiction of legislators, the court added. In its concluding statement, the court explained the allegation made by the petitioners concerning violation of articles 7, 8, 13, 14, 17, 19 and 40 of the Constitution is baseless, so it rejected the petition.

Source: Arab Times

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