Abstracts

CRIMINAL LAW

E. Ben Zimra, "The Use of Force in the Prevention of Crime" (Heb.), DinÈ Israel 9 (1978-1980), 85-112. - In this article, the use of force by one person in order to prevent the performance of a crime by another individual is discussed. According to one group of scholars, the use of force is legitimate only when the potential criminal is under the direct control of the person contemplating the use of force. Another group believes that the use of force is only legitimate in order to prevent crimes of a special nature, and a third group maintains that force is always allowed when the aim is the prevention of crime. In general, however, all authorities were in agreement that any force used in these circumstances must be carefully controlled, and strict limitations were imposed in order to ensure such control. The writer also observes that there is no justification for the use of force against non-observant Jews in the present era, and only peaceful means may be used for purposes of restoring them to the correct path. (Y.S.K.)

J. Blidstein, "The Shoter (Policeman) in Maimonidean Halakhah" (Heb.), Shenaton Hamishpat Ha'ivri 14-15 (1988-89), 89-94 - This article compares the nature and function of the Maimonidean shoter with the Roman institution of the agronomos and the Islamic functionary known as the Muhtasib. Reference is also made to the office of the Mustasaf. Maimonides' shoter resembles both the Roman and the Arabic institutions, but also differs from them, especially with respect to the amount of control exercised by the judges over the police force. The views of Maimonides' predecessors regarding the role of the shoter are also discussed. (D.B.S.)

Arnold D. Enker, Duress and Necessity in the Criminal Law (Heb.), Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University, 1977, Pp.256. - While primarily devoted to the conceptual and dogmatic problems of modern criminal law, this book concludes with two chapters on Jewish law, one dealing with homicide committed under duress and necessity, the other (in collaboration with Dov Frimer) with the dividing line between necessity and self-defence in Jewish Law. (B.S.J.)

Ben Zion Eliash, "Negligent Homicide in Jewish Criminal Law", National Jewish Law Review III (1988), 65-98.

Dennis H. Livingston, "The Crime of Leviticus xxiv 11", VT 36 (1986), 352-354; see OTA 10/1 (1987), no.191.

Samuel Mendelsohn, The Criminal Jurisprudence of the Jews, with a new Introduction by Irwin H. Haut, New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1991, pp. xi, 270, ISBN 0-87203-122-5, Price: $25.00 (Studies in Jewish Jurisprudence, vol. VI). - This is a welcome re-issue of Mendelsohn's pioneering work, published exactly 100 years before this re-print. The principal chapters of the book are devoted to Crimes and Punishments, the Synhedrion, the Trial, and the Execution. The author's introduction offers comparison with English and Roman Law, relying on some of the classics of 19th Century history and jurisprudence. The text is well documented, especially from Tannaitic literature, the Talmud, and Maimonides. Irwin Haut provides a new introduction, which provides some information about the author, comments briefly on the work, and provides a short bibliography of more recent writing on Jewish criminal jurisprudence, and on the application of Jewish law in Israel and elsewhere. This is a useful volume for the student and lay person, and may serve as a valuable index of sources for the researcher. (B.S.J.)

Ralph W. Scott, A New Look at Biblical Crime, Chicago: Nelson-Hall, l979, Pp. xv, 211; see KS 57/3-4 no. 3178.

P. Segal, "'You Shall Not Take Ransom for the Life of a Murderer' ó A Murderer's Redemption Contract?" (Heb.), Shenaton Hamishpat Ha'ivri 13 (1987), 215-226. - Bible scholars differ over the question of whether the prohibition, "You shall not take ransom for the life of a murderer" is a positive law or merely a lex imperfecta. Students of Rabbinic literature generally treat this question as a matter of purely theoretical interest, since they do not generally view Rabbinic law as a continuation of the Biblical legal system. In the present article, the issue is discussed against the background of a strand of Priestly Law identified by the author in the legal system of the Rabbis. According to the Priestly legal tradition, this prohibition only applies to some cases of homicide; in other traditions, ransom for the life of a murderer may be taken. The author argues that compensation money for causing a miscarriage is an example of such a case. He also maintains that the compensation paid in the case of causing a miscarriage is of a criminal and not a civil nature. The general prohibition on taking ransom in Rabbinic sources reflects one aspect of the original Priestly tradition. (D.B.S.)

J. Weinroth, The law of the rebellious wife (Heb.), l981, Pp. 566 (Tel-Aviv University thesis); see KS 57/3-4 no. 3357.

 

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