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Military Order 1711

[1 April 2013] - Israeli Military Order 1711 came into effect today and reduces the time period in which a child must be brought before a military judge for the first time following arrest. The order provides that children aged 12 and 13 must be brought before a judge within 24 hours of arrest, and 48 hours for older children. This is the second reduction in the time period in less than 12 months following the introduction of Military Order 1685 which reduced the time for both adults and children from 8 to 4 days.

Being brought before a judicial officer soon after arrest is seen as an important safeguard against arbitrary detention and ill treatment. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommends that children be brought before a judge no later than 24 hours following arrest. Under the Israeli Youth Law, which applies to children living in Israel and settlements in the West Bank, children aged 12 and 13 must be brought before a judge within 12 hours, and 24 hours for older children.

Two issues of concern remain following the introduction of Military Order 1711:
  • The critical time frame for children detained by the military authorities is the first 12-24 hours. It is during this time period that many children report being mistreated and subjected to coercive interrogation techniques; and
  • No explanation has been given as to why Israeli children living in the same territorial location must be brought before a civilian judge in half the time period now required to bring a Palestinian child before a military judge.
Based on the legal principle that no state is entitled to discriminate between those over whom it exercises penal jurisdiction on the basis of race or nationality, MCW recommends that Palestinian children must be granted the same rights and protection as Israeli children.