Administrative Detention

By joshua789
March 1, 2012

Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold detainees indefinitely on secret evidence without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli army is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1651. This order empowers military commanders to detain an individual for up to six month renewable periods if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.

Approximately 300 Palestinians are held under this system.



Thu, 03/01/2012 - 15:45

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As per

Administrative detentions are defined in the law of many of the world's states. In democratic countries using administrative detention as a counter-terrorism measure, the rationale given by its proponents is that legal existing systems are ill suited to handle the specific challenges presented by terrorism. Proponents of administrative detention maintain that criminal law's reliance on defendant rights and strict rules of evidence cannot be used effectively to remove the threat of dangerous terrorists. Some of the reasons often used to support this claim are that the information used to identify terrorists and their plots may include extremely sensitive intelligence sources and methods, the disclosure of which during trial would undermine future counter-terrorism operations. It is also claimed that the conditions under which some suspected terrorists are captured, especially in combat zones, make it impossible to prove criminal cases using normal evidentiary rules. Proponents also maintain that criminal prosecution is designed primarily to punish past behavior, thus it is deliberately skewed in favor of defendant, in order to assure that few, if any, innocents are punished. Counter-terrorism, on the other hand, aims to prevent future action, and thus requires a system that is weighed more heavily toward reducing the possibility of future harm, by ensuring that no guilty party will go free.
Among democratic countries using Administrative Detention are Australia, the USA and the United Kingdom. One wonders why Joshua has singled out Israel? Or perhaps not.


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 17:52

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I for one won't lose too much sleep . They will all have form of one sort or another .


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 18:04

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Ah Harvey. You're so reasonable....

"Well they were probably guilty anyway so that's fine."
Do people not have a right to due process then?


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 18:12

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May be you should read this then ...source


Ireland utilizes administrative detention to control illegal immigration. Beginning in 1996, a legal framework was put in place to authorize the use of administrative detention for this purpose. This legal framework includes the Refugee Act, 1996, the Immigration Acts, 1999, 2003 and 2004, and the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000. According to official Irish government statistics, in 2003-2004, a total of 2,798 people were administratively detained for immigration-related reasons, two thirds of whom were held in prison for periods of longer than 51 days. The vast majority (more than 90%) of detainees are held in one of two Dublin prisons, Cloverhill Prison (male detainees) and the Dóchas Centre at Mountjoy Prison (female detainees). The rest are held in prisons as well as border control (Garda Síochána) stations.

The Council of Europe and human rights organizations have criticized the overcrowded conditions in which the detainees are held, as well as the fact that detainees are held together with convicted criminals. In addition, Human Rights Consultants have reported that Irish law does not protect the rights of detainees, by not informing them of their right to challenge the legality of their detention, nor recognizing their rights to have access to a lawyer and to have access to medical care.[19]



The legal basis for Israel's use of Administrative Detention is the British Mandate 1945 Law on Authority in States of Emergency' as amended in 1979. Administrative detention is often used in cases where the available evidence consists of information obtained by the security services (particularly the Shin Bet), and where a trial would reveal sensitive security information, such as the identities of informers or infiltrators.

Although it is most commonly applied to alleged Palestinian militants and their accomplices, it has also been applied to Jewish Israeli citizens, including Jewish right-wing public-figures and activists (e.g. in the aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin).

Within Israel, the Defense Minister has the authority to issue Administrative Detention orders for up to 6 months in cases where there is a reasonable chance that the person harms the security of the state. The same Minister has the authority to renew such orders. Likewise, the Chief of the General Staff can issue such orders, but valid for only 48 hours. Law enforcement authorities have to show cause within 48 hours (in a hearing behind closed doors). Administrative Detention orders can be appealed to the District Court and, if denied there, to the Supreme Court of Israel. The District Court can annul such orders if it finds the administrative detention occurred for reasons other than security (e.g., common crimes, or the exercise of freedom of expression). Overall supervisory authority on the application of the relevant law rests with the Minister of Justice.

Within the West Bank and Gaza Strip, any local army commander can issue an administrative detention order, and the order can be appealed at the local military court, or, if denied there, at the Supreme Court. Here too, an administrative detention order is valid for at most six months, but can be renewed by the appropriate authority. Israel refers its use of administrative detention in the occupied territories to Article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949, which states that "If the Occupying Power considers it necessary, for imperative reasons of security, to take safety measures concerning protected persons, it may, at the most, subject them to assigned residence or to internment."

Unlike Ireland it appears a detainee can appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court to have the Order overturned. A sure sign of a robust democracy.


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