On September 27th 2011, the security legislation in the Area of Judea and Samaria was amended to define "Minors" as persons under the age of 18, in matters concerning criminal proceedings before the Military Courts.
Previous amendments to the security legislation already established a Juvenile Military Court and instated specific rules of procedure for criminal proceedings against minors. However, these amendments were only applicable to persons under the age of 16, as "Minors" were defined at the time
The definition of "Minors" has substantial implications, since criminal proceedings against minors take separately from those against adults. Minors are also completely separated from adults in detention centers and prisons.
The Juvenile Military Court is also vested with the authority to appoint a defense attorney to represent a minor (paid for by the military government), to order that the minor's parents will be present during the proceedings, and to instruct the civil administration's welfare office to provide it with an expert opinion concerning the minor's state.
The recent amendment also added an obligation to notify the minor's parents regarding his arrest and questioning, as well as the obligation to inform the minor of his right to consult an attorney prior to being questioned.
This is yet another significant step in strengthening the protection of the rights of minors in Judea and Samaria, following the establishment of the Juvenile Military Court and other measures previously taken in this respect.