Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak tapped Israel's appointed judge at ICJ

Barak to join 15-judge panel to hear South African charge Israel committing genocide in Gaza; appointment in line with ICJ policy country answering charges may add judge on its behalf to panel

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak will represent Israel as a judge at the International Court of Justice hearing in The Hague later this week. He will serve as the 16th member on the panel, alongside a counterpart appointed by South Africa. This country had filed the complaint and demanded that Israel be declared to be committing genocide against Gaza.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Barak. The former chief justice had come under repeated attacks by Netanyahu's coalition members and their supporters for his rulings in the 1990s, which they claimed allowed the Supreme Court to overstep its authority over the legislative and Judicial branches, during the push to change Israel's judicial laws in the months leading up to the war.
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כנס חוקתיות במשבר או משבר חוקתי באוניברסיטת רייכמן בהשתתפות אהרן ברק
כנס חוקתיות במשבר או משבר חוקתי באוניברסיטת רייכמן בהשתתפות אהרן ברק
Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak
(Photo: Moti Kimchi)
According to ICJ practice, any country facing charges before the court is permitted to add a judge of its choice to the 15-judge panel. After Israel agrees to appear to answer the complaint lodged by South Africa, it can be represented by up to four attorneys. British lawyer Malcolm Shaw was named as one thus far.
Shaw who has extensive experience appearing before the international judicial panel had represented Israel's position on matters pertaining to the status of a Palestinian state, before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the past.
After being accused of genocide by South Africa, Israel had been considering legal action against Iran and the Hamas terror group for the massacre of 1,200 Israelis on October 7.
After the ICJ hears the South African charges of genocide, the court would have approximately one month to decide its ruling and if an injunction to stop Israel's military offensive on Gaza, should be issued. The court would also then decide on a schedule to hear arguments. The process including possible appeals may not be given a final ruling for years.
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