Since the beginning of the 21st century, democratic states have increasingly been forced to confront the threat of terrorism on multiple fronts: at home, at the borders, and abroad. One tool that states have employed to protect the population is preventive detention. While highly effective in countering national security threats, significant steps need to be taken to avoid the risk of unjustified detention.
In this article, Saar and Wahlhaus aim to contribute to the ongoing deliberation on this issue by presenting the Israeli experience regarding preventive detention against the backdrop of international law, experience acquired while contending with a wide range of national security threats over several decades.
The authors explore the three different Israeli legal frameworks that regulate preventive detention in Israel, by describing and analyzing the different legislation and conducting a comprehensive survey of the case law (including previously unpublished cases). A comparative analysis of the three frameworks concludes the article.
Lessons from the diverse Israeli experience may serve to inform other states that are attempting to strike the proper balance between national security and avoiding the risk of unjustified detention, as well as inform contemporary international initiatives concerning detention.
- Legal Adviser, International Law Department of the Military Advocate General’s Corps, Israel Defense Forces; LL.B. and B.A. (Economics), Haifa University; LL.M., Northwestern University and Tel-Aviv University.