Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Agunah Resolution?

Rabbi Mendy Rosenfeld:
«My proposal would be that all who are involved in Get-refusal matters need to try to reach a proper and dignified resolution of their issues. There are only a few recognized ways of doing this. A couple dealing with Agunah issues can decide to go to voluntary mediation is the hope of reaching a proper accord. Mediation offers the parties the chance to discuss their differences with a trained, neutral third-party, in the hopes of finding a solution. Mediation is one option a couple may decide to pursue.

An alternative route would be a resort to a panel that is constituted as an arbitration panel with binding authority. The decision they reach is no less binding than a decision that a Court would reach in its adjudications. The arbitration panel, however, is often quicker, more expert in the specific issues and a good deal less costly than is Court involvement. The parties can agree e.g. to go to one arbitrator, or a panel of three, after it has signed a statement that it will be bound by the arbitration decision.

The final option that the couple may wish to exercise is the presentation of all claims to a Beth Din which will serve in the same capacity as the arbitration panel. (Although this option is listed last in the sequence, it is clearly not meant to mitigate the function of the Beth Din. Rather it is a recognition that some parties would prefer the voluntary nature of mediation or the purported expertise presented by an arbitration panel that would be selected by the parties engaged in the controversy.)»
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Kol Tuv,
RRW

3 comments:

Micha Berger said...

How often does a guy refusing to give a gett, or the woman refusing to accept one, going to agree with their spouse on going to mediation, arbitration or court, and going to agree on which one would hear their side fairly?

This is only where the gett is a tool being used to influence the settlement realistically. Not when the gett or the desired settlement is being used as weaponry.

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

> Civil and Dignified Divorce

That's an oxymoron if I ever saw one.

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

The essential problem is the inherent weakness of the practical authority of Beit Din. The get is actually the final procedural step in a divorce proceeding -- you could say similar in some way to a decree nisi in civil divorce. Prior to this procedural step the court, i.e. beit din, is expected to work out all issues and then upon conclusion and implementation of their judicial conclusions, there is the direction to give the get and thus conclude the matter. (Beit Din also maintains a right to order a get first prior to their decisions on other matters -- but the essence is that everything is before the court.) Problems often then arise because beit din is not seen in this way and only as a place for the get. This narrowing of beit din's actual halachic authority increases the problems. And this is not to say that batei dinim, through their own behaviour, are not their own contributors to this loss of judicial authority.

Rabbi Ben Hecht