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Israel: Biometric Databank Proposal

(Nov. 19, 2009) On November 17, 2009,the special Knesset (Israel's parliament) committee for evaluating the subject of a biometric database convened at the Prime Minister's office and decided to postpone voting on a bill to implement a biometric system for two years. According to the bill, electronic identification cards would replace the current paper ones […]

Israel: Pre-Trial Hearings via Audio-Visual Communications

(Oct. 20, 2009) On October 12, 2009, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed a law extending the application of the Criminal Procedure (Enforcement-Arrests) (Visual Hearings) (Temporary Enforcement) Law 5767-2007 for a third year. The temporary law enables the government to conduct a hearing for extension of a pre-indictment arrest by means of audio-visual communication if the […]

Israel: Prohibition of Genetic Intervention Extended

(Oct. 20, 2009) On October 13, 2009, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) extended the application of the Prohibition of Genetic Intervention (Human Cloning and Genetic Change in Multiplying Cells) Law 5759-1999 until May 23, 2016. The Law was initially applicable for five years, but was later extended. Explanatory notes for the extension bill state that the […]

Israel: Review of Internment of Unlawful Combatant

(Sept. 10, 2009) On August 30, 2009, the Supreme Court of Israel rejected an appeal by a Gaza resident of a decree issued against him for continued detention following the completion of his term of imprisonment for committing the offenses of membership in an unlawful association (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and […]

Israel: State Comptroller Report Says U.S. Deprived Convicted Spy of Due Process

(Sept. 3, 2009) On September 2, 2009, a report was issued by Israel's State Comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, on the Israeli government's actions to obtain the release of Jonathan Pollard, who has been incarcerated in the United States since 1985 following his conviction for spying for Israel. Pollard, an American citizen, received Israeli citizenship in 1995 […]

Israel: Splitting of Parliamentary Groups

(Aug. 26, 2009) On August 3, 2009, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed into law a government bill designed to facilitate the splitting of parliamentary groups during the term for which their members were initially elected. The amendment replaces section 59(1) of the Knesset Law, 5754-1994. Knesset Members (MKs) are elected based on the proportional public […]

Israel: Electronic Supervision of Prisoners Released on Bail or with Suspended Sentence

(July 20, 2009) On July 8, 2009, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed a temporary measure authorizing the Prisons Service Authority to use electronic devices on prisoners released on bail or whose sentence was suspended. The new powers include auditing the activation of electronic surveillance devices and coordinating the different units that participate in activation of […]

Israel: Military Commander and Enlisted Soldier Responsibility for Detainee Abuse

(July 8, 2009) On July 1, 2009, the Supreme Court (hereafter the Court) accepted a petition by Ashraf Abu Rahma and four human rights organizations to void a decision by the Chief Military Prosecutor (CMP) to indict an officer and an enlisted soldier for “unbecoming conduct” under the Military Justice Law 5715-1955, §130. The decision […]

Israel: Landmark Decision Ordering the State to Fund Reform Conversions

(May 21, 2009) On May 19, 2009, the Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, held that although the State is under no obligation to provide financial support to private organizations that deal with religious conversion, if it chooses to do so, it cannot discriminate in favor of those that prepare for Orthodox […]

Israel: Extradition Evidence Must be Made Available in the Hebrew Language; Appeals over Interim Decisions in Extradition Cases Must be Permitted

(May 14, 2009) On May 10, 2009, the Supreme Court held that even in the absence of an express provision in the Extradition Law and its regulations, the Government Attorney has a right to appeal interim decisions related to extradition. The Court further held that the extradition material must be submitted to the person whose […]