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Israel: Additional Restriction on Sex Offenders

(May 16, 2017) On March 22, 2017, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Restrictions on the Return of a Sex Offender to the Crime Victim’s Locality (Amendment No. 6) Law, 5777-2017 (Amendment Law) (SEFER HAHUKIM [BOOK OF LAWS, official gazette, SH] 5777 No. 2627 p. 593, available at KNESSET NATIONAL LEGISLATION DATABASE (in Hebrew)).  The Amendment Law amends the Restrictions on the Return of a Sex Offender to the Crime Victim’s Locality Law, 5765-2004 (SH 5765 No. 1961 p. 6 (Restrictions Law) (in Hebrew)).

The Restrictions Law was designed to protect crime victims and prevent “additional harm that may be caused by constant bumping into the [convicted] sex offender … without harming the rights of the sex offender beyond what is necessary.”  (Id. § 1.)  The Restrictions Law authorizes a court to impose limitations on the place of residence or work of a person who was convicted of sex offenses if that place would be near the place of residence or work of the victim.  Such restrictions may be imposed subject to the procedural requirements enumerated by the Restrictions Law if it has been proved that frequent possible interaction with the sex offender would cause the victim real emotional harm.  (Id. § 3.)

The Amendment Law authorizes a court to impose similar restrictions on the presence of a convicted sex offender at an educational institution, including one that provides vocational training, where the victim also attends classes.  (Amendment Law §§ 2-3; Amendment Law, Knesset Draft Bill No. 688 (Feb. 20, 2017), available at KNESSET NATIONAL LEGISLATION DATABASE.)