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11.10.2020

“No new precedent was set”: the HCJ rejected the state’s request for a further hearing on the judgment cancelling a punitive demolition order

On October 8, 2020, Supreme Court President Hayut dismissed the state’s request for a further hearing on the judgment cancelling a punitive demolition order targeting a home in Ya’bad. In her decision, President Hayut rejected the state’s argument that in effect the judgment set a new precedent – one that turns the question of the family’s prior knowledge of the assailant’s act into the decisive question in examining the proportionality of the order. The President ruled that “the precedent in our matter was and continues to be that the knowledge or involvement of the family members in the assailant’s deeds… in no way constitutes the decisive consideration”. The President determined that the majority justices’ ruling related strictly to the individual case in hand. She added that “it may well be that a different decision should have been reached in this case”, but explained that “even if the court wrongly applied the accepted precedent, this fact alone does not warrant a further hearing, as ‘a further hearing is not a further appeal’”

In addressing HaMoked’s demand that insofar as a further hearing was held, it should be held as a principled review of the entire issue of the legality of punitive home demolitions, the President reiterated the determination that “there is no room at present to conduct a further hearing on the issue”. The President went on to quote the 2014 HCJ ruling on HaMoked’s principled petition, that use of this measure is allowed so long as its benefit “exceeds the damage it causes”. And therefore, in each and every case, “the central question is the reasonableness and discretion” exercised by the military commander in issuing the demolition order.

* In the early hours of October 21, 2020, pursuant to the judgment issued August 8, the military sealed one room in the family home.
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