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The Court for Administrative Affairs rejects State's appeal: the mother of a teenage assailant, who is suspected of nothing herself, cannot be deported as a “deterrent”, or “punishment” or due to “parental responsibility”. The Minister of Interior must base his decision “on pertinent considerations”

On January 3, 2019, the Jerusalem Court for Administrative Affairs reaffirmed the precedential ruling of the Appeals Tribunal that a woman's permit to live with her family in Jerusalem cannot be revoked due to her son's suspected violent act. The Appeals Tribunal’s judgement was issued in HaMoked’s appeal against the Ministry of Interior’s decision to deport from Jerusalem a woman whose son was suspected of stabbing a Border Police officer. During the event, the officer sustained light injuries and the teenager was killed by security forces.

The court adopted the determinations of the Tribunal and wholly dismissed the state’s attempt to justify its decision on a “general deterrence consideration”, which did not appear in the law, and therefore could not be part of the broad discretion the Minister had in such cases.

The Court ruled that it was impossible to assign great weight to the State’s claim that the mother was responsible for her son’s actions, as parents did not have “absolute responsibility” for their children’s actions, particularly when the minor was close to the age of majority. The court added that in this case, there was no claim that the mother was aware of her son’s intentions, and therefore it could not be argued that she was negligent in exercising supervision.

As to the mother’s statement in an interview after the attack, the court held that this was likely “a natural reaction of denial” after the events, and that the weight the Ministry of Interior assigned to her words was “incommensurate with basic principles about freedom of speech and opinion”.

The Court noted that “given the picture arising from all of the material, it is hard to avoid the impression”, that the decisions regarding the woman, “contained a punitive element, for things she did not do and is not responsible for”. The Court also rejected the State’s “far-reaching claim” that any other decision by the Ministry of Interior would have “contradicted ‘fundamental principles’” of state sovereignty. In this matter the Court ruled that even assuming such considerations were legitimate, they were far from substantiating the expulsion decision in this case.

The Court stressed that the Minister of Interior’s decisions regarding granting status in family unification cases were not exempt from judicial review, and that a ministerial decision must be “proportionate, that is for a proper purpose and without excessively harming basic rights… it must be based on pertinent considerations and give proper weight to these considerations”. In this case the Court held that the Ministry of Interior’s decision “is clearly disproportionate, and therefore there is no cause to intervene in the judgment of the Tribunal”. The Court criticized the Ministry of Interior for not having given due consideration to the fact that the expulsion meant a substantial infringement of the basic right to family life of the woman, a mother of three, as well as the far reaching significance of uprooting the family from their home and center of life.

The court ordered the state to pay HaMoked’s trial costs in the sum of NIS 10,000. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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