Legal Updates

When a vessel sinks in the Israeli territorial water a non-Israeli may also receive data from the Israeli authorities

May 17, 2020

A ship got caught a storm and sank in the Israeli territorial waters. Following the incident, a damages claim was filed by the cargo owners, whom are neither citizens nor residents of Israel, and requested the Israeli Administration of Shipping and Ports (ASP) which investigated the incident, to disclose data related to the investigation for the purpose of conducting the legal proceedings.
The Court held that a non-citizen or resident of Israel is also entitled to receive data from the Israeli authorities regarding a claim arising in Israel. Israeli Freedom of Information Law stipulates that any Israeli citizen or resident has the right to receive data from any public authority. This right includes obtaining public information and is not limited to information pertaining to one’s personal interest and the authority's discretion to object to disclosure of data varies based upon the type of information requested and constraints set by the law, with certain types of information that may not be disclosed. When requested by an entity that neither a resident nor an Israeli citizen, the right to data is limited to private information regarding such entity’s rights in Israel. However, "rights in Israel" is broadly construed to include information about the entity itself, collected by the authorities regarding its actions in Israel, its assets in Israel, as well as data relating to rights of claim originated in Israel or data collected in connection with such. Here, the cargo owners requested information regarding a maritime event that took place in the Israeli territorial waters, related to a right of claim arising in Israel, due to an event that took place in Israel, and are thus entitled to such data.