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(Mar 02, 2008) On January 29, 2008, the Knesset (Parliament) of Israel passed an amendment to the Courts Law (Consolidated Version) 5744-1984. According to the amendment, defendants in human trafficking for prostitution trials will be prosecuted before a court of a single judge.

The amendment was designed to alleviate the hardship caused to victims by delays caused by court backlogs. In accordance with Penal Law 5737-1977, as amended, the offense of human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution is punishable by 16 years of imprisonment. Based on the level of this penalty, trials involving human trafficking for prostitution were heard by a district court before a bench of three judges. According to the explanatory notes of the bill, the delays often resulted in release of defendants until the end of legal proceedings. The trial delays were particularly difficult to complainants, most of whom are foreigners who wish to return to their countries as soon as they can or victims anxious to start a process of rehabilitation in Israel. In addition to the impact on the complainants, the passage of time had also weakened the strengths of their testimonies due to memory loss, especially following the trauma they experienced. The authorization to hear such matters before a single judge was expected to resolve these problems. (The Courts Law and Bill (Amendment No. 48) 5768-2008, the Knesset Web site.)

Author: Ruth Levush More by this author
Topic: Human trafficking More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Israel More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 03/02/2008