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Advancing legislation

One of the significant arenas in promoting public change is the Knesset, the House of Legislature where the laws that affect us all are established. As an organization that promotes public change, we often find ourselves required to come to the Knesset, whether for the purpose of promoting bills, preventing harmful bills, or participating in the various Knesset committees.

The laws we have submitted, advanced or amended include:

Bill to amend the Marriage and Divorce Ordinance (Registration) (repeal of section 7), 5758 – [10] 2017

In this bill, it was proposed to repeal section 7 of the law altogether. Pursuant to this section, a person who does not register his marriage or divorce will be punished with two years of imprisonment. This provision may apply to any couple conducting a private marriage ceremony without registration. Imprisonment for spouses who performed a private marriage ceremony constitutes a violation of fundamental rights to religious freedom and the privacy of the individual and is in conflict with the values of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Civil Marriage Permit Bill (Amendments to Legislation), 2013 [8]

The purpose of this bill is to stipulate that the authority to discuss the dissolution of the marriage of spouses who have chosen to marry in a civil marriage outside Israel, despite their ability to marry in Israel, will be determined in the courts for family matters.

Bill to amend the Marriage and Divorce Ordinance (Prenuptial Agreements), 5754- [4] 2013

The purpose of this bill is to prevent divorce refusal by the bride and groom signing a prenuptial agreement. It was proposed that the prenuptial agreement include the prohibition of the termination of the marriage on ancillary matters, such as child custody, child support and education, financial matters and more. In addition, it was proposed that the agreement provide for a financial incentive paid by a refusing spouse to the spouse seeking to terminate the marriage until the actual termination of the marriage. Actually, prenuptial agreements already exist in practice but many couples avoid signing them. Hence, it was proposed to make them the norm in law.

Restrictions on those who refuse to grant a divorce

Amendment to the Rabbinical Courts Law (Upholding Rulings on Divorce), 5755-1955 In 1995, the ‘Law for the Enforcement of Judgments’ was enacted, also known as the ‘Sanctions Law’. This law allows the Rabbinical Court to impose restraining orders on those who refuse a divorce in cases where the ruling is not complied with. Some of the sanctions that can be imposed on the refuser by virtue of the law are: an order forbidding leaving the country, foreclosure of a bank account, revocation of a driver’s license and even imprisonment.