Order stripping essential procedural safeguards from “security” detainees - Amendment No. 4 to the Criminal Procedure Law (Detainee Suspected of Security Offence) (Temporary Order)

Criminal Law and Procedures

The order re-extended a law from 2006 that removes a number of essential procedural safeguards to detainees suspected of security offenses that are provided to criminal suspects. The law is officially classified as a “temporary” order, but has now been in effect for close to 10 years. Its validity was due to expire in December 2015, but the new order extended it for a period of one year, until 31 December 2016. The order allows for the detention of a security suspect for up to 96 hours before being brought before judge, versus 48 hours in other cases, and for up to 35 days without being indicted, versus 30 days in other cases.

The order also allows for the suspect not to be made present at hearings to extend his or her detention or in appeal hearings against the detention if the interruption of an ongoing investigation to attend the hearing is deemed highly likely to thwart efforts to safeguard human life. It also allows security suspects to be denied access to a lawyer for up to 21 days, versus 48 hours in other cases. While neutral on its face, in practice the law is used almost exclusively against Palestinians, who make up the overwhelming majority of detainees classified as “security” detainees.

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