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Israel: Revised Rules on Compensation for Victims of Offenses

(Feb. 13, 2012) On February 7, 2012, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed an amendment to the Center for Collection of Fines, Fees, and Expenses Law, 5755-1995. The original Law authorizes the Minister of Justice to establish a center for the collection of debts (hereinafter the Center). Debts collected by the Center, according to the Law, may include both criminal fines as well as compensation to victims of offenses as determined by a court in accordance with section 77 of the Penal Law, 5737-1977; section 26(8) of the Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law, 5731-1971; and section 11 of the Probation Ordinance (New Version), 5729-1969. (The Center for Collection of Fines, Fees, and Expenses Law, 5755-1995, 5755 SEFER HAHUKIM [Book of Laws, the official gazette] 170 (1995); Penal Law, 5737-1977; LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL (LSI) (Special Volume) (1977); Youth (Trial, Punishment and Modes of Treatment) Law, 5731-1971, 25 LSI 128 (1970/71); Probation Ordinance (New Version), 5729-1969, 2 LSI (New Version) 66 (1972) [all in Hebrew].)

The amendment law authorizes the Center to directly compensate victims of offenses who were minors when the court decision ordering their compensation was issued. The amount that may be paid directly to such victims may not exceed NIS10,000 (about US$2,685). Moreover, any amount later paid by the offender on account of the debt, up to the amount directly paid by the Center to the victim, will be credited to the state budget. Based on the Capacity and Guardianship Law, 5722-1962, persons under 18 years of age are considered minors. The amendment law further provides that the failure of a defendant to comply with a court order authorizing paying compensation by installments to a victim of any age will trigger a requirement for an immediate payment of the full balance. (The Center for Collection of Fines, Fees, and Expenses (Amendment No. 14) Law, 5772-2012 & bill [both in Hebrew], the Knesset website (both last visited Feb.13, 2012); Capacity and Guardianship Law, 5722-1962, 16 LSI 106 (1961/62).)