IDI Experts on Supreme Court Appointments Controversy
IDI weighed in today on the letter of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Miriam Naor, who reacted negatively to the Justice Ministry's announcement that it intends to change the procedure by which new judges to Israel's Supreme Court are appointed.
IDI's spokesperson said: "The intention to change the judicial appointment process, as defined by law, to suit the political needs of the hour is most problematic. While it is legitimate to debate the decision-making mechanism of the Judicial Appointments Committee, it is unthinkable to execute such a profound structural change with potentially broad implications for Israel's constitutional foundations on the basis of narrow political considerations. Although IDI opposed the changes made almost a decade ago, we are equally opposed to a restoration of the status quo ante on the eve of a crucial vote on the new makeup of the court, in a manner guaranteed to exert undue pressure on the members of the Judicial Appointments Committee."
Moreover, the spokesman added, "the current make-up of the committee violates the long-standing constitutional norm that the Opposition must have a seat on the committee. This is because MK Robert Iltov, who proposed the change in question, joined the coalition once Yisrael Beytenu joined the government. This ploy, which was obviously guided by political considerations and not a sincere desire to implement long term reforms, is unworthy also because it aims to intimidate the court, and thus threaten the independence of its justices. A move of such gravity should only be contemplated as the end result of a comprehensive and principled debate, not as the product of a hasty maneuver to coerce the representatives of the Supreme Court on the Judicial Appointments Committee."
For this reason, IDI is calling on the government to act in the best interests of the country and all of its citizens by removing one of its representatives from the committee, either MK Nurit Koren or MK Robert Iltov, so as to restore the balance that has long been customary."