Photo: Motti Kimchi
Ayelet Shaked. Ill-received in the judicial world.
Photo: Motti Kimchi

Shaked's appointment causes concern in Israel's judicial system

While some are comparing the Bayit Yehudi MK's tenure to that of Daniel Friedmann, the latter was a law professor and Harvard Law School graduate.

The members of Israel's judicial system rarely express themselves in public, let alone about a controversial new justice minister. But in recent days, in particular since it emerged on Wednesday night that Ayelet Shaked will indeed receive the post, the judicial world has been in uproar.



On one predominant concern is that the judicial system is now entering an era of power struggles against efforts to curb its power - including that of the Supreme Court. While former minister Daniel Friedmann is frequently mentioned in comparison, Friedmann was a law professor and Harvard Law School graduate, not a former high-tech worker with a strong political agenda. Some, however, are willing to afford Shaked one hundreds days of grace, hoping that she will learn the system before making any drastic changes, and realise that things look very different from the inside.


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One retired Supreme Court justice tried to sum up the prevalent atmosphere: "What do they want us to say after her reflections on the legal system? A hostile minister was appointed the first place. They are inviting a fight."


The judge, who is greatly familiar with the legal system and has held many senior positions within it, added emphatically: "If she acts in accordance with her comments in the past, she will cause serious damage."


Ayelet Shaked, left, with Naftali Bennett and Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night.
Ayelet Shaked, left, with Naftali Bennett and Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night.


As a Knesset member, Shaked supported several bills to restrict the power of the Supreme Court. At the same time, she wants to enact legislation that would allow the Knesset to deny the Supreme Court the right to overturn laws. She repeatedly came out against the system for appointing judges, and supported changes to the composition of the committee that does so.


As justice minister, Shaked will head both the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and Judicial Appointments Committee. At a legal conference last year, Shaked said: "My current mindset is that there is no balance between the legislative and judicial branches. There is judicial supremacy over the executive and legislative branches. The authorities elected by the public are unable to fulfill their purpose and the will of the people."


A state prosecutor also noted the concern within the judicial system: "It's an appointment that is a political concession made during the formation of the coalition, but it is much more than that. It's an appointment that can cause serious damage Israel's position as a democratic state in the eyes of the world.



"Even if Shaked does advance measures and legislation that are not held up to ridicule, even they change the Judicial Selection Committee and the appointments are still fair, even if they legislate the clause (to bypass the High Court - AM) but barely use it, the reputation as the most advanced and enlightened legal system in the world will shatter, and as a country that faces international criticism every day, every Israeli should be worried."


פרסום ראשון: 05.07.15, 16:59
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