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Government approves first-ever overseer of state prosecution
By YONAH JEREMY BOB
23/12/2013
Hila Gristol formerly served as Jerusalem District Court president and was recommended for the position by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
 
The Cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved Hila Gristol to be the first-ever inspector of the state’s prosecutorial apparatus along with all of the enormous power and responsibility that post will carry.

Until the appointment, Gristol served as Jerusalem District Court president and was recommended for the position by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni upon the recommendation by a committee headed by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.

Establishing the new and powerful oversight body has been debated and fought over for years, and only recently achieved consensus.

Those in favor of the oversight department that Gristol will head say the prosecution does not crack down or correct its own errors and needs an outside body to do so.

Those who opposed the oversight body have expressed concerns that it would be used by politicians to intimidate the prosecution from pursuing public corruption cases.

A statement issued by Livni’s office said the oversight body was immediately open to receiving complaints against the prosecution, including its civil and administrative litigators.

The statement also said that the body would conduct organization-wide and systematic reviews of prosecutors’ conduct, transparency, ethics, efficiency and their proper implementation of state policies.

It added that the body will submit yearly and other periodic reports on a variety of issues besides checking specific complaints.

At the same time, the statement said the oversight body would not impinge on the independence or professional discretion of the prosecution so it can continue to properly fulfill its duties.

The goal of the new body, noted the statement, is to strengthen both the prosecution itself and the public’s faith in the prosecution.
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