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Israel religious court orders mother to have son circumcised

An Israeli Rabbinical Court [official website] has ordered a woman to circumcise her son against her will or face daily fines. The ruling was issued [Telegraph report] by a three-rabbi panel after the boy's parents filed for divorce, and the father insisted on circumcision and the mother opposed. The mother argued that her son was born with a medical issue that prevented circumcision on his eighth day after birth, and says that the father was accepting of the decision not to circumcise the child until the parents decided to get a divorce. The appellate court ruled that finding in the mother's favor could open the courts to many similar cases, and ruled against her for the "common good, which takes precedence over that of the individual." The mother plans to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court.

Circumcision [JURIST news archive] remains controversial throughout the world. In June 2012 a German court ruled [JURIST report] that circumcising young boys based on religious traditions was prohibited even if the parents consent to the procedure. The ruling was quickly overturned [JURIST report] by the German Parliament [official website, in German], which in December approved a bill explicitly permitting male infant circumcision. Last August the Australian state of Tasmania moved to ban male infant circumcision [JURIST report] after the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI) [official website] issued a report recommending that the state ban circumcision except for well-established religious and ethnic reasons. In October 2011 California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] signed into law a bill that prevents local governments from banning [JURIST report] male circumcision. The law was written in response to a ballot measure proposed in San Francisco that would have made male circumcision illegal if the recipient was under the age of 18, with perpetrators penalized by a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment.

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