Military Advocate General
The Military Advocate General assists the Israel Defense Forces 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 in the IDF.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Structure
- 2.1 Chief Military Advocate General
- 2.2 Deputy Military Advocate General
- 2.3 Chief Military Prosecution
- 2.4 Chief Military Defense
- 2.5 Legal Supervision and Doctrine Branch
- 2.6 International Law Branch
- 2.7 Legislation and Consultancy Branch
- 2.8 Legal Advisor in Judea and Samaria
- 2.9 Military Law School
- 3 List of Chief Military Advocate Generals
- 4 See also
- 5 Further reading
The principal activities of the Military Advocate General are:
- Maintaining prosecution and legal defense systems before the military tribunals.
- Providing military authorities with legal advice on military law and the law in general (including international law).
- 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 arms in the IDF, and over the military detention centres.
- Representing the IDF before public and institutional bodies.
- Teaching law and jurisprudence in the IDF and its values among soldiers and commanders.
The Military Advocate General consists of the following bodies:
Chief Military Advocate General
Deputy Military Advocate General
Coordinates and directs the CMAG Command; serves as acting CMAG during the Chief's absence.
Chief Military Prosecution
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 over rulings rendered by the District Military Tribunals.
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 Dept. oversees administrative conduct and provides legal advice on areas related to administrative law. The Amnesty Dept. centralizes amnesty appeals to the President, 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. The Supervisory Dept. attends to criticisms of MAG bodies, and coordinates its activities with investigatory entities outside the IDF.
International Law Branch
This branch, headed by the CMAG Assistant for International Law, advises the service on areas related to international law (including the Palestinian territories).
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).
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
Following is a list of the Chief Military Advocate Generals of Israel. Before the position was created, the head of the IDF's justice division—called the military prosecution—was Avraham Gorali.
- Colonel Aharon Hoter-Yishai (1948–1950)
- Colonel Aharon Moyal (1950–1953)
- Colonel Meir Zohar (1953–1961)
- Brigadier General Meir Shamgar (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 (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)
- Major General Danny Efroni (2011–2015)
- Brigadier General Sharon Afek (2015–)
- Menachem Finkelstein and Yifat Tomer, "The Israeli military legal system," Air Force Law Review, Winter, 2002.