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High Court upholds state of emergency (JERUSALEM POST) By JOANNA PARASZCZUK 05/08/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=269156 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The High Court of Justice finally ruled on Tuesday to reject a petition calling for the cancellation of Israel´s state of emergency - 13 years after it was first filed.

Israel has been in a state of emergency since 1948, in accordance with article 38 of the Basic Law: Government.

According to the Basic Law, amended in 1992, the Knesset may declare a state of emergency, which may remain in force for one year, after which Knesset can renew its declaration if it sees fit.

Since 1992, the Knesset has renewed the state of emergency annually. In 1999, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) petitioned the High Court, asking the justices to order the government to nullify the state of emergency, which they argue grants broad human rights violations.

In a unanimous ruling, Supreme Court President (Emeritus) Dorit Beinisch and Justices Elyakim Rubinstein and Edna Arbel said the petition had "run its course."

Since ACRI filed the petition, however, the state has slowly gotten rid of several emergency ordinances and laws that require a state of emergency.

In 2006, the court noted, the Justice Ministry filed a report to the court stating that several emergency laws had been abolished, including the Temporary Order on Emergency Searches During a State of Emergency.

Rubinstein said that the government should be allowed to to complete the legislative process, which he noted ACRI has helped promote.

Rubinstein noted that "much work remains to be done" on the issue, but said the competent authorities should be allowed to continue the process, while emphasizing that the work should be completed in the not-too-distant future.

The government´s challenge, the justice said, was to design legislation that would incorporate Israel´s "normal and not-normal" aspects.

"This goal is achievable," Rubinstein concluded.

ACRI legal adviser Dan Yakir slammed the High Court ruling.

"It is regrettable that the High Court has left intact an abnormal situation, under which [Israel] is under a state of emergency for 64 years," Yakir said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/08/12)

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