Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer Speaks Out on Using Administrative Detention in Cases of Organized Crime

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IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer responds to the possibility that the police will use administrative detention to combat organized crime, much in the manner as it is used to combat terrorism.

Suspected terrorists are sometimes detained without rights in Israel, but should the same type of "administrative detention" be used in the case of members of criminal organizations?

Following a spate of gang violence in Ashkelon, Police Inspector General Yohanan Danino asserted that criminal organizations are comparable to terrorist organizations and Yitzhak Aharonovitz, Minister of Public Security, asserted that the police will use measures such as administrative detention and preventative detention to combat organized crime. In the short video below, IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer responds to this possibility. (Hebrew with English subtitles.)

Transcript (Translation)

The idea to apply administrative detention to the heads of organized crime is bad and unjustified. The idea of disregarding human rights is similarly intolerable. Constitutional law in Israel does not allow disregarding human rights.

Comparing the threat to Israeli society that is posed by organized crime to the threat that is posed by terrorist organizations is inappropriate. The threat from terrorist organizations is far more serious.

It is impossible given the current legal situation, in which administrative detention is used to protect the State of Israel from external enemies, to decide to use administrative detention in cases of crime.

In order to implement administrative detention, one must declare a state of emergency due to a danger that the rule of law will collapse in Israel.  The rule of law will not collapse in Israel, but such a declaration will make Israel's economy collapse. Accordingly, we are headed down an irresponsible path.

It is important to understand that administrative detention is an extremely exceptional measure that violates the right to due process and carries with it the danger that innocent people will be arrested. Therefore, it should only be used if there is absolutely no alternative. This is not the situation in the case of organized crime.

Another danger is that if there is the option of administrative detention, the police will not be motivated to do the diligent and difficult work that is necessary for gathering evidence for criminal proceedings.

No other democratic country in the world uses this kind of measure against organized crime.

This idea must be abandoned as quickly as possible.