The Judicial Selection Committee

In Israel, the judge selection committee is composed of elected politicians, justices, and Bar Association members. Selection of a Supreme Court justice requires a majority of seven of the nine members, which means neither politicians nor justices can unilaterally control of the selection process.

The proposed overhaul would provide the coalition government in power almost complete control over the selection of judges, politicizing all ranks of Israel's judicial system.

Minister of Justice Yariv Levin has refused to convene the Judicial Selection Committee until such a time as its composition can be altered. On September 19th 2023, the Supreme Court will hear petitions against the legality of this decision. 

How are judges selected in Israel. Dr. Guy Lurie explains: 

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Publications Regarding The Judicial Selection Committee



“Unity” as a Means to Weaken the Judicial System

While the Israeli public has been focusing on the war and on the hostages in Gaza, the government—led by the minister of justice—has been preparing an assault on the independence of the judicial system.

Special Project

The Judicial Overhaul and Anti-Democratic Initiatives

Judicial overhaul initiatives, along with other anti-democratic measures, have continued to be promoted by the government and the coalition in the Knesset. This document outlines the various actions taken in government that weaken the Israeli judiciary and democracy at large.


The Justice Minister’s Decision to Convene the Judicial Selection Committee

On November 5, 2023, Minister of Justice Yariv Levin notified the High Court of Justice that he will convene the Judicial Selection Committee within 15 days. Selecting judges is not possible in such a short time frame, so we will have to wait and see whether this decision leads to the completion of judge appointments to the vacant positions.


Israel needs a strong supreme court now more than ever

Justice Hayut's retirement from the presidency of the Supreme Court was well-known in advance, however, the Minister of Justice's refusal to convene the Judicial Selection Committee leaves Israel with a temporary replacement during a national emergency.


Three Big Cases in Israel's September to Remember

Three petitions before the Israeli Supreme Court are transforming the usually slow month of September into a pivotal one in Israel’s ongoing judicial crisis.


The Judicial Selection Committee must be convened now

The Judicial Selection Committee has not met for more than a year, and during this period, various positions held by judges have been vacated.


Justice Yosef Elron challenges the superiority method

IDI expert Dr. Guy Lurie met with KAN's Mark Weiss to discuss Supreme Court Justice Yosef Elron's announcement that he would seek election as the next Supreme Court president, a decision that flies in the face of the "seniority method" that has been used to select the court's president to date. 


Not Unreasonable - Irresponsible

The law is clear. The Minister is obligated to convene the committee when judicial vacancies appear. By evading this responsibility, he is failing in his duty.


The Courts Use Reasonability in Moderation

Dr. Guy Lurie, IDI expert discusses the court's use of the Standard of (Extreme) Unreasonableness and current status of the judicial overhaul.


The Complexities of the Judicial Overhaul in Israel

Dr. Jesse Ferris with New York Times' Bret Stephens and Prof. Avi Bell discuss the complexities of the judicial overhaul and its significance on the future of Israel on Sapir Conversations podcast. 


Overhauling the Supreme Court

Dr. Guy Lurie in an in-depth interview with The Jewish Time podcast's Jeff Silberblatt on the attempted judicial overhaul and its implications on Israel's future.


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 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. 

Press Release

Only a Minority of Israelis Support the Proposed Judicial Overhaul

66% of Israelis: Supreme Court should have power to strike down laws that are incompatible with Israel’s Basic Laws | On Judicial Selection Committee: 63% Support Current Principle Requiring Agreement between Politicians and Justices.


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. 


Changing the System for Judicial Appointments—Only with a Broad Consensus

Despite controversy, changes to the Judicial Selection Committee, must be made with broad consensus - and not by slimmest of majorities.


Recommendations for the Incoming Justice Minister

After three contentious election campaigns Israel's new government has been sworn in. IDI's experts weigh-in with their recommendations on the most important issues on the agenda. 

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.