Below are readers' questions about 'Evidence', which we have chosen to answer. More detailed information on 'Evidence' can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel.
No! Absolute privilege applies to things said to a rabbi, or any religious figure of similar standing such as a priest. A rabbi cannot be made to reveal 'secrets' or confidential information by a rabbinical court. He 'holds' the privilege, and can divulge this information, wholly in part, if he chooses, but cannot be forced to do so. Unless this privilege existed, and were respected, people would be loathe to confide in rabbis.
No - but only partial 'privilege' (or confidentiality) applies. A lawyer can be obliged to reveal technical details such as the identity of a client, and the type of legal services and fees agreed upon. He/she does not have to give evidence in court as to things said to him, or documents given to him, by his client, in connection with professional services he supplies. These constitute privileged information between lawyer and client, and are confidential and protected.
No, if the parent is not a party to the proceedings, has not been added to them, and no order has been made to this effect. If, however, the parent is formally added as a party to proceedings, and ordered to produce documentation by the court, because, for example, one of the parties claims that the other spouse has tried to divert money from a joint account, into the parent's account, to deprive the other party of his/her rights in it, then it would be possible.
Yes - the family court has discretion to do so, as it did in Family File 13332-09-15 during an evidence stage hearing on 14.10.2015, where a video phone recording of the child having a nightmare, was viewed, to support the mother's defence. The defendant mother (represented by our law offices) claimed the video should be assessed by a clinical psychologist, which she requested be appointed, by the court, to prepare an expert report, as part of her “grave risk” defence under article 13(b) of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.
The family court refused to appoint an expert (in contradiction to court practice and case-law),but the mother was denied the right to appeal against the court’s refusal, as part of her planned appeal against the return order judgment of 22.10.2015, because of the highly criticized procedural breaches of the family court, aired by Tel Aviv District Court in its decision on 23.10.2014 (Family Appeal 46344-10-15), after the father had already managed to whisk the child out of Israel on the way back to the U.K., within c 2 hours of the judgment being released!
The District Court stated that the family Court had effectively railroaded the mother’s right of appeal against the judgment( given at the end of the day at the end of the working week in the absence of the parties), which had wrongly ordered the immediate release of the stop orders against the minor( while refusing a stay of proceedings), and without informing the mother’s counsel of the judgment, paving the way for the Plaintiff father to remove the child from Israel and preventing the mother from exhausting her rights to fight the child's return.
Where a party to proceedings,or one of his/her witnesses, is inconsistent in his/her evidence,whether this relates to written testimony (affidavit) or oral testimony (cross examination at a hearing), then this will count against that side. The greater the contradiction and inconsistency, the greater its negative effect regarding credibility.
Firstly, the affidavit can be in a foreign language, and later translated into Hebrew, if required, though English affidavits are often accepted by courts in Israel, without a further translation. Furthermore, there are several options regarding the required authorisation of your signature,and declaration of truthfulness as to the contents of the affidavit.The most preferred by courts in Israel being authorisation of the signature by an Israeli Diplomat or Consul abroad - i.e. via the consular services of an overseas Israeli Embassy. This way the authorisation is in Hebrew. Another option is for a notary abroad to authorise your signature and declaration of truthfulness, and then for the 'Apostille' stamp to be obtained, abroad,to confirm the genuineness of the notary's signature/approval. The least preferred option is authorisation by a local lawyer abroad, according to local law overseas.
You must make sure you have suitable means of identification when you go to get your signature on an affidavit authorised - passport, or I.D. etc.
No! Even if your priest is summonsed as a witness, in the custodyp proceedings brought by your wife, absolute privilege applies to what you said to him. The court cannot force information out of him, though he can decide to volunteer things. Priests are renouned for respecting the confidence of 'confession', and people confide in them because they know that their secrets will be kept.