The State of Israel against Beni Shmuel

Background

On October 9, 2014 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Beni Shmuel, convicted more than 6 years earlier for sexual offences committed against his daughter, age 10, at the time.The traumatic memories were recovered fully when she was 23 years old. On October 13, 2014, forty-seven Israeli academics published an opinion criticising the Supreme Court for admitting the complainant's "recovered memory" into evidence, claiming that no data exists to support the validity of "recovered memories". The opinion called for a total prohibition on the admisibility of "recovered memories" into evidence in Israeli courts of law. Beni Shmuel's defence attornies have asked the Supreme Court for a special hearing in light of the opinion ventured by the 47 who claimed that "recovered memory theory is not based on scientific evidence×´.

This website presents an evidence-based position paper arguing why survivors of childhood abuse who have recalled their traumatic memories following a period of dissociative amnesia should not be denied their right for a fair and just evaluation in a court of law. The following position paper was signed by 107 top trauma scholars and experts from around the world.

For the convenience of interested visitors, we have also included three court rulings from three different US states accepting recovered memories into evidence as materials that meet the Daubert standard. We also provide a list of 479 references from the scientific literature related to the subject of dissociated memories of trauma, as well as some relevant internet links.

On December 17, 2014, Deputy Chief Justice Miriam Naor, who has read both the opinion of the 47 and the scientifically-based statement published on this website, decided to reject the defence appeal for a special hearing. In her ruling she criticised the submission of the opinion of the 47, reiterated the admissibility into evidence of recovered memories of trauma and ordered the convicted father to report to the prison authorities on December 31, 2014.