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Government okays bill to boost female presence on judge selection panel

By
July 21, 2013 19:13

The bill is an initiative of Knesset Advancement of Women Committee Chairman (Yesh Atid) Aliza Lavie.

ALIZA LAVIE

ALIZA LAVIE 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a proposed law to ensure “proper representation” of women on the Judicial Appointments Committee.

The bill is an initiative of Knesset Advancement of Women Committee Chairman Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid).



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In the bill’s preamble, it explains that the purpose of the bill is to ensure proper representation of women for the powerful committee that selects judges by obligating the various groups that choose committee members to each pick at least one woman.

Lavie said that having female members on the committee was very important both to fulfill the principle of equality between men and women and to facilitate women’s unique contribution to the committee itself.

The committee consists of nine members, including two government representatives, two Knesset members, two Israel Bar Association representatives, two supreme court justices and the president of the Supreme Court.

The bill effectively anchors in legislation that at least four of the nine members will be women.

Recently, certain haredi Knesset members objected to a bill to add women onto the committee for choosing rabbinical court judges, and one objection was that the Judicial Appointments Committee had no such requirement, said Lavie.

According to Lavie, the haredi Knesset members said this unequal application of requiring equality showed that the rabbinical courts’ bill was proposed merely to harm the rabbinical courts.

Lavie stated that by passing this bill, she and other proponents of the rabbinical courts bill had answered their detractors’ objection.

She added that, “the bill does not come to fix an existing injustice, but rather to ensure that even in the future there will always be female representation on the committee.”

Lavie said that unlike the committee for selecting rabbinical judges, which has not had female representation, the Judicial Appointments Committee has had, and the current bill merely prevents any future political deals from harming the current state of equality.
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