Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute on the Reform of the Clauses of the Penal Code that Deal With Crimes of Fraud And Breach of Trust:

This is a significant step in the war on governmental corruption, which will present clear guidelines for what is permitted and forbidden.

Reform was written based on extensive research done by IDI.

The Israel Democracy Institute this morning welcomed the announcement of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and her staff of the expected vote to approve reform of the clauses that deal with crimes of fraud and breach of trust in the penal code. The reform is based on recommendations made by IDI researchers Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Dr. Doron Navot and Dr. Amir Fuchs, which were published in 2008.

This reform will change the wording of the current law to clarify what constitutes a crime, what is permitted and forbidden, and present clear guidelines to the public sector. It will not only enable legal clarity and assist judges and prosecutors to determine which incidents are worthy of criminal punishment, but will also and especially set red lines and bring about order in the legal jungle that was caused by the present wording of the law.

The amendment will among other things clarify what is a forbidden act by a public official in instances of conflict of interest, will clearly define what is considered taking illegal gifts, and sharpen when it is forbidden for a public servant to use internal information that came to him in fulfilling his role for other means.

The IDI adds this morning that this is a significant step in preventing governmental corruption. There is little doubt that more work should be done in order to complete the legislation and sharpen the law. However, the IDI researchers, who took an active role in the deliberations on this amendment said, "Minister Shaked and the Justice Ministry took an important step to fix what has needed to be repaired for many years. This is a courageous move that should be celebrated by the public and everyone to whom the rule of law is important."

For English research abstract>>