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The new Minister of Justice, Haim Ramon, said in his inaugural message that he wants to raise the status of the courts in the eyes of all sectors of Israeli society, speed up judicial procedures and pass legislation to help the fight against violence.
Ramon was speaking at a changing of the guard ceremony at the Justice Ministry in which he took over from former Justice Minister and now Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
Ramon pointed out that he was the fifth Minister of Justice to serve in the past seven years and that the lack of stability and continuity caused severe harm to government in general and to the Justice Ministry in particular.
Regarding the courts, Ramon said that "in the past few years, there has been marked erosion in the status of the courts in the eyes of the public.
There are certain sectors of the public where the court's status has weakened even more. The status of the court is not determined only by the way it is viewed by jurists and academics, but also by the way it is seen to conduct itself by the general public. The judicial system should not be tainted by populism, but must be well received by the nation, all of the nation."
After the ceremony, journalists asked Ramon how he intended to solve the problems he had mentioned. He replied that he had raised the issues that most disturbed him. Now, he will consult with ministry officials and decide what steps need to be taken to resolve them.