Friday, August 30, 2013

Chief Justice Opens Israeli Courts Rosh Hashanah; Says Detaining Suspects for 3 Days "Unacceptable"

Israeli magistrate courts will continue to process arraignments over Rosh Hashanah this year, as a result of a special order by Supreme Court Chief Justice Asher Grunis, the Jewish Press website reports today (August 30, 2013).

This year, Rosh Hashanah -- the only 2-day Jewish holiday observed in Israel -- begins Wednesday night (September 4), which means that the state's non-emergency services will be suspended by law until Sunday morning.

This would result in suspects remaining in detention without an arraignment before a judge for three days, which the Chief Justice finds unacceptable. It also conveys a higher level of attention to defendants' rights than in the United States, where anyone arrested late on a Friday must wait behind bars for their arraignment until Monday -- or even until Tuesday, if Monday is a holiday.

The national court employees union said it objects to Grunis's Rosh Hashanah directive, but its members will not challenge it.

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