Israeli government rewrites controversial DV clause

domestic violence

The Israeli Justice Ministry had rewritten a controversial  policy which meant that women who made false claims of domestic violence or abuse faced no penalties.

Prosecution Instruction 2.5 is formally known as “Policy regarding launching investigation and filing charges on suspicion of giving false or contradictory statements or testimony during an investigation or trial, and for refusal to testify.”

In its previous form, the instruction stated that while making false allegations was a serious offence in other areas of the law, people who make claims of domestic violence or sexual assault that they later recant or contradict should not prosecuted. It made no distinction, Arutz Sheva reports, between deliberate false claims and claims withdrawn due to pressure from others.

Instruction 2.5 was widely criticised as effectively encouraging false claims, with some dubbing it ‘the Wife of Potiphar Clauseafter the Biblical character who accused the patriach Jospeh of rape., The Justice Ministry has finally agreed to amend it following more than a decade of campaigning by activists.

In its rewritten form the Instruction now cleary distinguishes maliciously-made false claims from others. It states:

“As a rule, if there is suspicion that a person has purposely made false charges in order to harm another, in the context of a criminal offense, the prosecutor will transfer the matter to police investigation.”

Claims which lead to unjustified but serious consequenes, such as being arrested or the erosion of a man’s relationship with his children, are more likely to result in a police investigation according to the new wording.

Photo of Jerusalem, Israel by premasagar via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

StuG - March 21, 2017 at 9:31pm

And here, in the UK, we have the retrograde step of supposedly protecting accusers in family courts by disallowing their cross-examination by those they have accused.

Where the accuser has genuinely been abused, fair enough. But no-one should presume that before trial. Where allegations are not genuine, the accused is now provided a lesser opportunity to avoid detrimental findings of fact.

No doubt some will say that the accused will have their interests looked after by the requirement that a lawyer does the cross-examining. Rubbish. Firstly, they will have to pay the lawyer or have one provided by the court. Is the lawyer provided by the court going to have the time to prepare such intimate questioning, be motivated to do it, and have the latitude required provided by the court, such as the time needed? Personally, I can’t see the court service paying for a full day to sit with the accused and prepare for a further full-day cross-examination. And whilst we hear of payment for cross-examining, what about summing up?

Cobb’s new changes seem little more than the usual retrograde step of pretending to solve an issue by the use of more professionals.

What is important is not who questions who or how, but the truth. Does cross examination find the truth in family cases? No, it does not, because the ‘truth’ is dependent on the persuasive effect upon a judge who sits and watches the show. And how on earth can a judge find the truth of what will happen in the future and make reliable orders? They can’t. It’s a scam.

The Israelis seems to be ahead of us not only in terms of respecting legal principals but finding the truth. Some Israeli family court judges use polygraphs. One such judge has stated that 99% of DV allegations brought by women to family courts fail the polygraph. Whatever anyone thinks of the polygraph, it’s more accurate than judges in supposed fact finding hearings. But as changes are in the control of those who would lose out, don’t expect the same to happen here.

To introduce lie detection technology and punishment for liars would destroy the current family court model, including the business and advocacy groups that plug into it. So whilst other jurisdictions forge ahead with initiatives aimed at improving justice, ours labours on as a service not for children but the members of a self serving corporation lacking the integrity to bring in any new program that does not facilitate the further lining of their own pockets.

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