Middle East at heart of research
LAW researchers are investigating whether Israel is contravening international law by detaining Palestinians without trial.
Academics at Edge Hill University are finalising research into the administrative detention of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
The team visited Palestine and interviewed Palestinians formerly held by the Israeli authorities under administrative detention.
Administrative detention differs from other types of detention in that the detainees are not subject to due criminal process and do not know the charges or evidence against them.
The team is now putting together a report for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who has started an investigation into international crimes allegedly committed in the IsraeliPalestinian setting.
Dr Triestino Mariniello, a senior lecturer in law at Edge Hill University, said: “The use of administrative detention is a central element in Israel’s policy in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
“In international law, administrative detention is allowed under certain circumstances related to national security. Yet international law has placed significant restrictions on its application, indicating that its use should be confined to the most exceptional of cases, imposed only if the danger cannot be averted by less harmful means.
“Our research is investigating whether Israeli law and practice in administrative detention violates restrictions provided by international law.”
He added: “Over the last couple of years we have interviewed former detainees about their experiences, some of whom were held for 10 years.
“At the end of August 2016, 644 Palestinians – including one woman and 10 minors – were held in administrative detention in Israeli prison service facilities.”
He and fellow law lecturers Dr Mariagiulia Giuffre and Dr Peter Langford plan to publish the report by the end of the year.
It will make policy recommendations directed at Israeli and Palestinian non-government organisations (NGOs), Israeli authorities dealing with administrative detention such as military court judges, lawyers and those working in detention facilities.
Following an international workshop in Liverpool at the end of last year, the team has also established an advisory board which includes senior officials from NGOs working in the field and academics from several European universities.