Military Advocate General

Military Advocate General

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The Military Advocate General assists the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 in imposing rules of conduct through legal advice, legal instruction, maintaining the mechanisms for military prosecution and legal defense, and fulfilling special legal tasks. It supervises, by exercising the designated operative instruments and authority, over the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

 in the IDF.

Overview


The principal activities of the Military Advocate General are:
  • Maintaining prosecution and legal defense systems before the military tribunal
    Military tribunal
    A military tribunal is a kind of military court designed to try members of enemy forces during wartime, operating outside the scope of conventional criminal and civil proceedings. The judges are military officers and fulfill the role of jurors...

    s.
  • Providing military authorities with legal advice on military law and the law in general (including international law
    International law
    Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

    ).
  • Maintaining the military tribunal system in areas falling under the jurisdiction of the IDF.
  • Supervision over the rules of conduct in the IDF.
  • Supervision over the investigatory
    Israeli Military Police
    The Military Police Corps of the Israel Defense Forces is the Israeli military police and provost. The military police serves the Manpower Directorate during peace time, and the Technological and Logistics Directorate during war....

     arms in the IDF, and over the military detention centres
    Israeli military prison
    The Israeli Military Prison is a prison for guarding soldiers who committed crimes during their service. It is estimated that 15,000-18,000 Israeli soldiers go through an Israeli military prison or detention center every year.-Prison sector history:The need to create prisons in the IDF arose as...

    .
  • Representing the IDF before public and institutional bodies.
  • Teaching law and jurisprudence in the IDF and its values among soldiers and commanders.

Chief Military Advocate General


Head of the service, brigadier general Danny Efroni
Danny Efroni
Brigadier General Danny Efroni is the current Chief Military Advocate General of the Israel Defense Forces, appointed in September 2011.Efroni was recruited to the Israel Defense Forces in 1976, after graduating from the Hebrew Reali School of Haifa...

. A member of the General Staff
Israeli General Staff
The Israeli General Staff , abbreviated Matkal , is the supreme command of the Israel Defense Forces. It is based in the Kirya compound in Tel Aviv.-Members:...

, but not professionally subordinate to the Chief of Staff
Ramatkal
The Chief of the General Staff, also known as the Commander-in-Chief of the Israel Defense Forces is the supreme commander and Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. At any given time, the Chief of Staff is the only active officer holding the IDF's highest rank, Rav Aluf , which is usually...

.

Deputy Military Advocate General


Coordinates and directs the CMAG Command; serves as acting
Acting (law)
In law, when someone is said to be acting in a position it can mean one of three things.*The position has not yet been formally created.*The person is only occupying the position temporarily, to ensure continuity.*The person does not have a mandate....

 CMAG during the Chief's absence.

Chief Military Prosecution
Prosecutor
The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or the civil law inquisitorial system...


Headed by the Chief Military Prosecutor, it is responsible for criminal prosecution. The Chief Military Prosecutor has exclusive authority to submit appeals to the Military Court of Appeals
Israeli Military Court of Appeals
The Israeli Military Court of Appeals is the supreme military court of the Israel Defense Forces. It considers and judges over appeals submitted by the Military Advocate General which challenge decisions rendered by the District Military Tribunals:...

 over rulings rendered by the District Military Tribunals.

Chief Military Defense
Defense (legal)
In civil proceedings and criminal prosecutions under the common law, a defendant may raise a defense in an attempt to avoid criminal or civil liability...


Responsible for defending soldiers and officers before the military tribunals, during appeals to the Military Court of Appeals, and providing representation and legal advise to members of the military while they undergo an investigation.

Legal Supervision and Doctrine Branch


Composed of three departments: The Administrative Justice
Administrative law
Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agency action can include rulemaking, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law...

 Dept.
oversees administrative conduct and provides legal advise on areas related to administrative law. The Amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 Dept.
centralizes amnesty appeals to the President
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

, provides legal opinion to the Chief of Staff as an authority confirming verdicts and sentences (including their reductions), provides legal advise to the Committee for erasing the criminal records of soldiers prior to their recruitment, handles prisoner releases in the framework of peace agreements, and treats appeals to the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Israel
The Supreme Court is at the head of the court system and highest judicial instance in Israel. The Supreme Court sits in Jerusalem.The area of its jurisdiction is all of Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. A ruling of the Supreme Court is binding upon every court, other than the Supreme...

. The Supervisor
Supervisor
A supervisor, foreperson, team leader, overseer, cell coach, facilitator, or area coordinator is a manager in a position of trust in business...

y Dept.
attends to criticisms of MAG bodies, and coordinates its activities with investigatory entities outside the IDF.

International Law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 Branch


This branch, headed by the CMAG Assistant for International Law, advises the service on areas related to international law (including the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

).

Legislation and Consultancy Branch


This branch is responsible for legal counsultation and legislation pertaining to the military in areas unrelated to international law (or the Israeli-occupied territories
Israeli-occupied territories
The Israeli-occupied territories are the territories which have been designated as occupied territory by the United Nations and other international organizations, governments and others to refer to the territory seized by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967 from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria...

).

Legal Advisor in Judea and Samaria


The legal advisor in Judea and Samaria is charged with providing legal advice regarding military activities and military administration to the military commander of Judea and Samaria and to the head of the civil administration. In that role, the division has a difficult task in balancing security interests with humanitarian concerns and plays an active role in settling disputes between Israelis and Palestinians. The division provides legal advice on various aspects of security measures, planning and zoning, land registration, economic activity, municipal governance, etc. Additionally, the division plays a major part in the financial war against terrorist organizations in both seizing terror-related funds and the tracking and arresting of individuals involved in those activities. Lastly, the division plays a central role in planning the route, determining passage arrangements, petitions to the High Court of Justice and compensation issues relating to the Security Barrier.

Military Law School


The school is responsible for teaching law and jurisprudence, and for the training and professional advancement of MAG officers.

List of Chief Military Advocate Generals

  • Colonel Aharon Hoter-Yishai
    Aharon Hoter-Yishai
    Aharon Hoter-Yishai Served as Israel's Military Advocate General and testified in the Eichmann trial in 1961.-Jewish Brigade:In 1945 Hoter-Yishai was an officer of the Jewish Brigade in the Second World War. He served in Italy, Yugoslavia and Austria....

     (1948–1950)
  • Colonel Aharon Moyal (1950-1953)
  • Colonel Meir Zohar (1953-1961)
  • Brigadier General Meir Shamgar
    Meir Shamgar
    Meir Shamgar was President of the Israeli Supreme Court from 1983 until 1995.-Biography:Shamgar was born Meir Sterenberg in the Free City of Danzig to Eliezer and Dina Sterenberg.He emigrated to Palestine in 1939.He was arrested by the British in 1944 for anti-British activity and being...

     (1961–1968)
  • Colonel Tzvi Hadar (1968-1973)
  • Brigadier General Tzvi Inbar (1973–1979)
  • Brigadier General Dov Shefi (1979–1984)
  • Major General Ben-Tziyon Farkhi (1984–1986)
  • Brigadier General Amnon Straschnov
    Amnon Straschnov
    Amnon Straschnov is President of the Israeli Institute of Commercial arbitration and involved with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.He was President of the Military Courts in the West Bank from 1982 to 1984....

     (1986–1991)
  • Major General Ilan Schiff (1991–1995)
  • Brigadier General Uri Shoham (1995–2000)
  • Major General Menachem Finkelstein (2000–2004)
  • Major General Avichai Mandelblit (2004–2011)
  • Brigadier General Danny Efroni
    Danny Efroni
    Brigadier General Danny Efroni is the current Chief Military Advocate General of the Israel Defense Forces, appointed in September 2011.Efroni was recruited to the Israel Defense Forces in 1976, after graduating from the Hebrew Reali School of Haifa...

    (2011–present)

Further reading