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Blind in Their Own Cause: The Military Courts in the West Bank

Yaël Ronen

Keywords: Military courts; law of occupation; monism; dualism; Israel

The military courts operating in the West Bank do not ordinarily regard the criminal system they enforce as governed by the law of occupation. Their reasoning for this view reveals that they perceive themselves as quasi-domestic courts. This approach removes the guarantee of basic protection for protected persons under the law of occupation, leaving suspects and defendants hostage to potential vagaries of the military commander in enacting the security legislation. The courts' responses to this shortfall in protection are principally that in practice, many of the international standards have been incorporated into the law applied in the military courts by duplication of Israeli law, and that Israel's High Court of Justice offers means of ensuring compliance of the criminal process with international law. Both responses further reflect the courts' abdication of their role in guaranteeing legal protection under the law of occupation.

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