Military Courts Report 2010: Summary

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01 October 2011

In May 2011, the Israeli military courts published their annual report on their activities during 2010, providing detailed statistics on files considered by the court, hearings held, administrative detention orders issued, and appeals filed by defense and prosecution lawyers. This English translation by Addameer provides a summary of the most important aspects of the report.

In May 2011, the Israeli military courts published their annual report on their activities during 2010, providing detailed statistics on files considered by the court, hearings held, administrative detention orders issued, and appeals filed by defense and prosecution lawyers. This English translation by Addameer provides a summary of the most important aspects of the report. Click here to read the analysis in PDF format.


  • The total number of indictments, or files opened, in military courts for 2010 was 8,516, which represents an increase from the previous year, during which 8,459 indictments were made.
Indictments were based on five different categories:
 
 
“Hostile terrorist activities” indictments
“Disruption of public order”
indictments
“Criminal” indictments
“Illegal entry into Israel” indictments
“Traffic violations” indictments
2010
1,405
707
629
1,887
3,888
2009
1,962
662
648
1,628
3,559
 
As evident in the report, though there was a decrease in the number of indictments categorized under “hostile terrorist activity” by 39% from the previous year, this decrease was accompanied by a rise in the number of “disruption of public order” indictments by 6.5%.
  • The total amount in fines imposed on Palestinian detainees in 2010 was 15,940,910 shekels.
  • During 2010, military courts closed 9,542 files, which was an increase of 3% in completion of files from 2009, during which 9,231 files were examined.
The following table shows the number of closed files by category:
 
 
“Hostile terrorist activities” files
“Disruption of public order”
files
“Criminal” files
“Illegal entry into Israel” files
“Traffic violations” files
2010
2,016
763
664
1,973
4,126
2009
2,659
738
727
1,655
3,452
 
Though there was an increase in the number of files closed in the military courts in 2010, this may be partly due to the rise in the number of new files considered by the military courts.
  • The number of files for which detainees chose to exhaust all legal procedures instead of entering into plea bargains decreased by 3% compared to 2009. In 2010, just 82 cases from the total 9,542 went to the end of legal proceedings. In 2009, 133 detainees of a total 9,231 files chose this route.
Of these cases, there was a decrease in the number of defendants that were acquitted of all charges. In 2010, 25 out of the 82 defendants were acquitted of all charges, which is 0.2% of the 9,542 total files. In 2009, 48 of the 133 defendants were acquitted of all charges, which is 0.5% of the 9,231 total files.
  • In 40% of the total number of cases in 2010, one or more charge from the list of charges was cancelled. In 4% of the cases, detainees were acquitted of only one charge. 56% of the files resulted in conviction on all charges.
Detention and Extension Hearings
  • During 2010, the military courts carried out 10,764 hearings for detention and extension of detention, which was a decrease from 12,428 in 2009. This decrease could be related to the overall decline in the number of prisoners in recent years.
  • There was also a decrease in the number of open files at the end of 2010; 695 detainees still awaited legal action when the military courts closed for the year, as opposed to 1,205 in 2009. Among these open files, 605 have been open since 2009, 79 have been open for two years, and 11 files are more than two years old.
  • The report also notes that the average time frame for considering files categorized as “hostile terrorist activity” is 8.7 months.
Administrative Detention and Court Proceedings
  • Israeli military commanders issued 714 administrative detention orders, including administrative detention extension orders, in 2010, compared to 1,307 in 2009.
The following table shows the total number of administrative detention orders issued between 2006 and 2010.

 

2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2,934
3,059
2,122
1,307
714

 

  • In 2010, the military courts confirmed 413 administrative detention orders, cancelled 9 orders, and in 306 cases either shortened them or determined them to be the final order (final orders occur when a military judge decides that an order cannot be renewed unless new evidence is submitted). One order was shortened by a military commander himself.
    • The percentage of orders confirmed by the judge without any alterations was 57% in 2010, an increase from 53% in 2009.
    • The 9 orders cancelled by the military judge constitute just 1% of the total orders, which was a decline from 2009, when 3% were cancelled.
    • 32% of the administrative detention orders were shortened by just a few days, or determined to be the final order. 2010 saw a decline in the proportion of administrative detention orders that were shortened by just a few days; 10% were shortened in this manner as opposed to 12% in 2009. Nevertheless, according to the figures, it is apparent that the military courts still maintained the same total percentage of shortened or restricted orders as in 2009.
Appeals
  • Deportation orders:
During 2010, the military courts issued 10 deportation orders and defense lawyers submitted 10 objections to these orders. Of the 10 objections, the court examined only two.
  • Appeals against sentencing:
 
Appeals
Appeals approved
Approval rate
Defense lawyers
162
67
33%
Military prosecutors
93
60
67%
 
As evident from the table above, although defense lawyers submitted 63.5% of appeals against sentencing, only 33% of these appeals were approved. In contrast, military prosecutors submitted only 36.5% of appeals against sentencing, but 67% of these appeals were approved.
  • Appeals on detention or extension decisions:
During 2010, the total number of appeals against detention or extension decisions was 605, which was a decline of 17% compared to 2009, during which the number of appeals was 706.
 
 
Appeals
Appeals approved
Approval rate
Defense lawyers
474
77
17%
Military prosecutors
131
51
22%
 
Defense lawyers submitted 68% of appeals on detention or extension decisions, with a 17% approval rate. Military prosecutors submitted 22% of appeals on detention or extension decisions, with a 22% approval rate.
  • Administrative detention appeals:
In 2010, 695 appeals regarding administrative detention orders were submitted. 637 of these appeals were submitted by the defense, with only 58 requests made by the military prosecutor.
 
 
Appeals
Appeals approved
Appeals rejected
Appeals cancelled
Defense lawyers
637
117
505
22
Military prosecutors
58
24
35
3
 
Of the total number of administrative detention appeals in 2010, 4% were cancelled, 20% approved, and 76% rejected. These percentages reflect stagnant rates since 2009.