Appointing Judges

Publications Regarding Appointing Judges



Three Supreme Court Justices on Israel's Judicial Overhaul

Three former supreme court justices from Israel, the United States, and Canada—Dorit Beinisch (Israel), Stephen Breyer (US), and Rosalie Abella (Canada)— assembled at the 92nd Street Y in New York for a timely conversation on the complex legal and political drama unfolding in Israel.


Appointment of Judges to High Courts in Democratic Countries: A Comparative Study

The research examined 42 countries included all the OECD member states along with other leading democratic countries.

Press Release

Statement by the Israel Democracy Institute on the Prime Minister’s Decision to Suspend the Judicial Overhaul

The temporary suspension of the judicial overhaul provides an opportunity for the Prime Minister, as well as the leaders of the coalition and the opposition, to turn this crisis into a historic constitutional opportunity.

Press Release

No Other Democracy in the World

"“In Ireland we have a judicial appointment commission which is mixed, but there are no politicians on the commission and there never has been.” Alan Shatter, Former Minister for Justice, Equality and Defense (Ireland)


There’s no ‘compromise’ in the coalition’s play for unlimited power

Slowing the overhaul is a sham. It’s still a hostile takeover of the Supreme Court and its ability to restrain the coalition

Press Release

Statement by the Israel Democracy Institute on President Herzog’s Proposal

The Israel Democracy Institute congratulates President Isaac Herzog on his extraordinary efforts. While the President’s plan contains some problematic elements, if it were to be adopted in its entirety as a package, we would support it because it safeguards our democracy and bolsters key elements of our constitutional foundations. 


The Levin-Rothman plan 101 (yes, this will be on the test)

Some actual facts for college and university students whose teachers are under attack for teaching actual facts


We Already Know the Future of Israel’s Courts. It’s Not Good.

Rabbinical courts, where appointments are based on political loyalty, offer a cautionary model of a judicial nightmare


The Fight Over Judicial Appointments in Israel

Since 1953, judicial appointments in Israel have been made through a Judicial Selection Committee in which legal professionalsjudges and lawyersare in the majority and politicians in the minority. The new Israeli government’s plans for legal reform turn this system on its head and allow the coalition to fully control appointments to all parts of the judiciary, thus consolidating its dominant position in all three branches of government. 


Reversing the ‘Constitutional Revolution’

The second article in this series describes in depth how the Supreme Court used its authority, why it encountered a backlash, and what current proposals to limit the power of the Court to exercise judicial review over Knesset legislation look like.


The New Israeli Government’s ‘Constitutional Law Reforms’: Why now? What do they mean? And what will happen next?

Political discontent with the power relationship between the judiciary and the political branches has been percolating since the 1990s, often in connection with criminal proceedings against senior politicians. Prof. Amichai Cohen and Dr. Yuval Shany provide context for the ongoing debate concerning recent legal developments in Israel, so that outside observers can follow them more closely.


Does Israel Really Need Judicial Reform? 5 Better Ways to Fix Judiciary

5 other ideas for upgrading Israel's judicial system – without destroying democracy, doing away with the mechanisms for oversight of the government or harming our basic rights.


It’s Just about Unlimited Power – and Nothing Else

The recently published opinion by the Attorney General, Adv. Gali Baharav-Miara, makes clear that the proposal "reform" makes no attempt to enhance the balance among the branches of government: It is quite simply a demand for unlimited government power.


The Proposed “Reform” of the Judicial System Poses Risk to the Israeli Economy

Debilitating the judicial system would deal a blow to overseas investors’ motivation to invest in Israel and lead to a sharp drop in its credit rating. We need only look at the precedents of Turkey, Hungary, and Poland, to understand just how serious the threat is.

Book Summary

Checks and Balances: The Override Clause and Its Effect on the Three Branches of Government

The debate surrounding the Override Clause should really focus on the disproportionate power of the Knesset and not on the power of the Supreme Court. All other democracies have structural mechanisms that limit the concentration of power in the hands of one institutions - we must create such a mechanism in Israel as well.


Overriding the People of Israel

If Netanyahu's new government implements its plans, human rights may soon depend on majorities. Israel's delicate political structure makes this possible.


How Israeli Judges Are Appointed: Questions and Answers

Why it is a bad idea to allow the coalition the deciding voice in the appointment of Supreme Court justices? Is it true that in Israel, judges appoint themselves? The complete guide to the impending constitutional reform.


Terms of Office of Supreme Court Justices

In Israel, judges sit on the bench until they reach the age of 70, while advocates for changing the current method of their appointment often support the idea of limiting Supreme Court judges’ tenure.


Attempts to Curtail the Supreme Court

The Israel Democracy Institute offers a look inside efforts to reduce politicization of Israel's Supreme Court.


A Lethal Virus

"If indeed a member of the Judicial Appointments Committee was swayed by bribes, this constitutes the deepest possible subversion of the system and its legitimacy".


The end of the delegitimization of the Supreme Court

“The campaign to remake the Supreme Court has been completed” said Justice Minister Shaked - so now with its new and more conservative profile, there is no longer any justification for the delegitimization of the Supreme Court.

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.


What these Conservative Supreme Court Justices Won’t Do

The four new Judicial Appointments Committee selections to the Supreme Court last month have led to the usual partisan responses, breaking down along the lines of “winners” and “losers.” Despondent claims of an “anti-constitutional revolution” are being made simultaneously with celebratory assertions of “making history.” The facts, however, are quite different.


Judicial Appointment Highlights Dramatic Changes Among Israeli Haredim

Earlier this month, change snuck in through the back door of Israel's court system when Israel’s first ultra-Orthodox judge was appointed. This article was first published by the Jewish Press.


Neeman's "Jewish Poker" Game

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Amir Fuchs explain why they see the "Bar Association Bill" as undermining the rule of law. This bill would change the way that the Bar Association's representatives to the Judicial Appointments Committee are selected, and would apply retroactively.


The Knesset Failed to Choose Two Representatives. What Happens Now?

The Knesset voted for its representatives on the judicial selection committee. This is the first time it was not able to elect two representatives, leading to a second round of votes in the next 30 days.