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“Arbitrary by default”: No fair trial for Palestinian child prisoners

“Arbitrary by default”: No fair trial for Palestinian child prisoners


Defence for Children International Palestine published a new report, “Arbitrary by Default”,  detailing and examining the systemic denial of fair trial rights inherent in Israeli forces’ practice of arrest, detention, interrogation, and prosecution of Palestinian children in the Israeli military courts. The report includes the latest data on the ill-treatment and torture that Palestinian children in military detention face at the hands of Israeli forces, personal testimonies by Palestinian child prisoners, and expert legal analysis.


Here are the report’s key findings:

  • Israeli military courts do not meet the standards of an independent and impartial tribunal for the purposes of considering matters involving civilians, including children.
  • Palestinian children detained and prosecuted by Israeli forces in the Israeli military detention and court system are denied the right to a fair hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal.
  • Israeli authorities systematically arrest Palestinian children from the occupied West Bank without any attempt to issue arrest warrants that would establish a legal basis for the detentions.
  • Israeli authorities overwhelmingly fail to explain or inform the Palestinian child or their family of the reasons for an arrest.
  • Israeli forces and authorities’ systematically deny Palestinian children their right to prompt access to legal assistance and the presence of a family member during interrogation.
  • Israeli forces and authorities’ systemic non-observance of the obligatory and absolute prohibition against torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment constitutes arbitrary detention.


Read the full report here.