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Israel: Criminal Justice Systems in Europe and North America

NCJ Number
Leslie Sebba; Menachem Horovitz; Ruth Geva
Date Published
110 pages
After an overview of the organization of Israel's criminal justice system, this book profiles its components of police, courts, and corrections.
After an introductory chapter on Israel's background and form of government, a chapter traces the historical development of Israel's penal law, followed by a chapter on the history of procedural law. A chapter on the organizational entities of criminal justice describes the functions of the Ministries of Public Security, Justice, Labor and Social Affairs, the Environment, and Finance. Statutory authorities are also profiled. A chapter on the Israel Police notes that from its inception in 1948 it has been a national, highly centralized force under the responsibility of the Minister of Public Security. The chapter describes its organization, personnel, and procedures for conducting investigations. A chapter on the court system indicates that it consists of three tiers: magistrates' courts, which exercise criminal jurisdiction over offenses punishable by no more than 7 years imprisonment or a fine, as well as civil jurisdiction; district courts, which deal with all criminal cases not under the jurisdiction of the magistrates' courts; and the Supreme Court, which exercises appellate jurisdiction over the district courts' decisions. In addition to these three types of courts, there are also traffic courts, family courts, small claims courts, religious tribunals, and labor tribunals. Juvenile courts operate under the Youth Law. Other chapters address the organization and operation of the Prison Service, correctional agencies and services, criminal justice procedures, juvenile justice, the system of sanctions, victim services, crime prevention, human rights and law reform, and statistics and crime trends. The concluding chapter provides an overview of current trends in criminal justice in Israel. 6 tables, 12 figures, and 67 references and additional resources