During the year 2014, the Military Commander in the Area of Judea & Samaria signed into law, 10 amendments to the Security Directives Ordinance regarding the substantive as well as procedural provisions in the Penal Code in force in Judea and Samaria. These include considerable amendments to the rules of procedure, the rights of persons including minors suspected of committing security crimes, a reexamination of current prohibitions and more.
Additionally, a large number of amendments are currently being considered and prepared for the upcoming year.
Following is a short description of the 10 amendments enacted in 2014:
1. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 37) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1735), 2014 (Signed 18.3.2014) –
This amendment allows the postponement of a meeting between a person suspected of a severe security offence (as listed in annex 1 to the Security Directives Ordinance) and his attorney, for a few hours, if this meeting will prevent the interrogation from being successful. That is, in a similar manner to the possibility of such a postponement in Israel.
2. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 38) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1738), 2014 (Signed 13.4.2014) –
This amendment allows the Vice-Chief Justice of the Military Court of Appeals in Judea and Samaria, to preside over requests for a re-trial, in cases where the chief-justice had presided over the initial trial. Since re-trials are usually decided by the Chief Justice, this amendment allows a solution to avoid the Chief Justice presiding over a request for a retrial in a case he himself had previously adjudicated. It should be noted, that re-trials in contrast to appeals are relatively rare.
3. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 39) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1739), 2014 (Signed 23.4.2014) –
This amendment added Article 59a to the Ordinance, which in a similar manner to the penal procedure regarding arrests in Israel, states that a lawyer representing a suspect whose meeting with his attorney had been postponed, will not be present in the same court room as his client during remand hearings. Rather, the hearing is conducted in two stages, one with the arrestee and the other with his attorney.
4. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 40) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1740), 2014 (Signed 20.5.2014) –
This amendment codified as a permanent legislation, articles 332a and 332d, previously in force as temporary provisions, in a similar manner to their permanent codification in Israel.
These articles authorize the police to seize and destroy alcoholic beverages or their containers, if the police have a reasonable suspicion that the holder is drinking or intends to drink the alcoholic beverage, which may harm to public safety or order. Additionally these articles create a presumption that alcohol found open in a public area during night hours (21:00 to 6:00), may cause a public disturbance.
5. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 41) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1741), 2014 (Signed 17.7.2014) –
Articles 130 and 131 of the Security Directives Ordinance, proscribes the proper procedure when the court determines that a defendant cannot stand trial due to his insanity during the time of the crime or at the time of the trial.
This amendment amends article 130 so it also applies to persons that have a mental defect, which prevents them from communicating with the court or with their own attorney or who cannot understand the meaning of the proceedings they are facing.
6. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 42) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1744), 2014 (Signed 9.9.2014) –
This amendment extends the temporary order authorizing the Judea & Samaria Military Court to judge persons who had committed crimes in area A, relating to the illegal trade of stolen cars registered in Israel, for two more years.
This amendment indirectly authorizes the IDF and Police Forces with the an accompanying authority to the power of prosecution, to detain, arrest, search and seize, regarding people and property in area A, in relation to law enforcement regarding vehicle thefts.
7. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 43) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1745), 2014 (Signed 10.9.2014) –
The amendment requires that interrogation of minors by police officers, be conducted in the suspects’ language or in a language the suspect understands.
As for the transcript of such an interrogation, if it cannot be transcribed in the language it is being held, the police must record the interrogation by audio or audiovisual means. This, unless the interrogation takes place outside a police station, when the interrogation cannot be transcribed in the language it is being conducted, the transcription may be done in a language the suspect understands.
Nonetheless, if the minor is suspected of a non-security offence, with a punishment of up to ten years incarceration, his interrogation must be recorded audio visually.
These rules do not apply as a requirement to minors suspected of security offences. It should be mentioned that these amendments are but a part of a wide variety of amendments which improve the protection of minors standing trial in the area, enacted and implemented over the past few years.
8. Security Directives Ordinance (Amendment 44) (Taking of Identification), 2014 (Signed 20.11.2014) –
This amendment allows soldiers to collect identifying markers from a person, by a medical professional, as long as the person is a victim, witness or any other person not under suspicion, if there is reasonable ground to assume that the person has, in or on their body, evidence needed for the investigation of a crime or needed to check the persons’ possible involvement in the crime.
The amendment limits this authority, by requiring that the procedure, why it is being undertaken and what may be done with the evidence collected, be explained in a manner understandable to the person. Further, after this explanation the person must give his consent in writing. The amendment also describes permitted uses for such collected evidence.
9. Security Directives Ordinance (Judea & Samaria) (Amendment 36) (Amendment number 1751), 2014 (Signed 27.11.2014) –
This amendment serves to clarify Ordinance 1732.
Ordinance 1732 stipulated that judicial review by force of Article 61 to the Security Directives Ordinance, of seizures and confiscation made by the Military Commander , by force of the Defense Regulations of 1945, , , cannot be done by the military courts (only the High Court of Justice).
10. Operation of Jails Ordinance (Amendment 7) (Judea & Samaria) (number 1736), 2014 (Signed 7.4.2014) –
This amendment, based for the most part on parallel articles in the Israeli Jails Ordinance [New Version] of 1971, amended the Operations of Jails Ordinance (West Bank) (number 29) of 1967. The amended Ordinance now allows an administrator who had convicted a prisoner for a disciplinary infraction, to require him, in addition to any other punishment, to pay payment of restitution for damages caused by the infraction, up to the amount of 2,282 NIS.