Fines on parents of stone-throwers - Amendment No. 20 to the Youth (Care and Supervision) Law

Criminal Law and Procedures

This new law allows for direct fines to be imposed on the parents of minors convicted of committing an offense listed in the Israeli Penal Code. It provides the offense of stone-throwing as an example, and this fact, combined with its timing during the current round of violence, gives rise to fears that it will be deployed in a discriminatory manner against the parents of Palestinian children – citizens of Israel or residents of East Jerusalem – convicted of stone-throwing and similar acts who are brought before Israeli civil courts.

The law violates the most basic principles of criminal law: that the imposition of criminal responsibility and punishment must be specific and apply solely to the person who committed the offense. Punishing the parents violates the prohibition on collective punishment, since there can be no ‘vicarious liability’ on parents for the acts of their child.

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