Press Release

IDI Scholars Respond to Bill to Cancel Supreme Court Seniority System

The Israel Democracy Institute responded Thursday to the proposed bill to cancel the seniority system and deferral of deliberations on choosing Esther Hayut as the president of the Supreme Court, saying such steps harm the basic principles of the work of the judicial branch.

Professors Mordechai Kremnitzer and Guy Lurie explain:

“The seniority system protects the independence of the judges and prevents competition between them on who will judge in a way that will greater impress the politicians, the lawyers or the judge-members of the Judicial Selection Committee. Changing the system could create unprofessional incentives that impact judicial decisions and harm the public’s trust in the independence of the judicial branch. In addition, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Knesset Member Yoav Kisch are taking advantage of the imminent departure of current Chief Justice Supreme Court President Miriam Naor to start bargaining about her successor, as if they are in a shuk, when their goal is to pressure the Supreme Court judges to agree to appointments of judges that the minister wants approved by the Judicial Selection Committee. All this is an attempt to violate the rules of the game, during the game, and is not being done out of a desire to bring about a process of smart structural changes based on long-term consideration."

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