Knesset committee to discuss bill regarding detentions

Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 11:00 Honenu opposes the bill, which broadens the authority of the GSS concerning issuing administrative orders and reduces judicial review. On Wednesday, October 25, The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill to rectify the Defense (Emergency) Regulations law concerning detentions. The bill is included in the framework of the Counter-Terrorism Law which was approved by the Knesset in 2016, and currently the committee is expected to discuss the chapter relating to detention orders and administrative restricting orders, which are issued without a trial and with only the signature of either the defense minister or one of the IDF GOCs. According to this bill it will be possible to order an administrative detention without the need for the existence of an emergency situation and additionally the defense minister will be given the authority to order an administrative restricting order for security reasons. The meaning of this is that from now on the GSS will receive wide authority with regards to all aspects of administrative orders, which will be given under very reduced judicial review. Among the powers that will be given to the defense minister according to the bill, is the ability to restrict a citizen’s workplace, fields of occupation, entry to and/or exit from a specific region of Israel, contact with an individual or a group of people, use of specific services, specific activities and more. These orders will be imposed without the need for approval by the attorney general or any figure in the Ministry of Justice and will not require revealing evidence or suspicions against the subject of the order. In the judicial review of the bill it was written that, “It is not possible to rely solely on administrative review. The violation of an individual’s rights following the issuance of a restrictive order is severe, even if it does not reach the level of definite violation of the right to liberty, and therefore the [judicial] review must be comprehensive and significant.” Honenu Attorneys Menasheh Yado and Chayim Bleicher are among the participants in the discussion and also have submitted their opinion on the subject to the committee. The attorneys are expected to recommend that the committee not accept the changes suggested in the bill. Honenu opposes the bill and is of the opinion that if there is no effective judicial review of restrictive orders an unreasonable situation will arise: “This is an attempt by the GSS to acquire broad authority concerning the violation of citizens’ rights while significantly reducing judicial review over issuing administrative orders. Unfortunately, in our experience with the GSS, when goings-on are outside of the public view, there the injustices are done. We will work towards preventing the bill from passing.” Also among the members of the committee there are several Knesset Members who oppose the bill. Additionally, the committee’s legal advisor expressed his opinion which recommends not giving the GSS all of the authority that they have requested.

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