If the controversial “Grunis bill” is passed into law, Supreme Court Justice
Asher Dan Grunis is expected to replace Dorit Beinisch as Supreme Court
president in February, after Beinisch retires.
Grunis, whose specialist
field is civil and commercial law, is popular among right-wing MKs because of
his reputation as a conservative judge who is opposed to judicial activism and
intervening in the decisions of governmental authorities.
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bill” will shorten the required term for Supreme Court presidents from three
years to two years. The mandatory retirement age for justices is 70, and Grunis
will be over age 67 when Beinisch retires. The appointment of presidents follows
the law of seniority and Grunis is the longest-serving justice.
Tel Aviv in 1945, Grunis qualified as a lawyer in 1969. He went on to gain a
graduate law degree from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in law from
York University in Toronto. After returning to Israel, Grunis lectured in law in
Tel Aviv University before his appointment as a district court judge in 1988. In
2002, Grunis served a year-long temporary term on the Supreme Court before being
appointed as a permanent justice.
Grunis is known for his dissenting
arguments on several key judgements.
In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled
that the “Tal Law” regulating national and IDF service in the haredi community
discriminated against secular Israelis.
Grunis, however, took the
minority view that the court should only interfere in Knesset decisions if they
violated minority rights, and said that the “Tal Law” harmed majority
Grunis also has a sharp sense of humor. In a High Court hearing
in January over NGO Yesh Gvul’s petition against Yoav Galant’s appointment as
IDF chief of staff, he quipped, “perhaps the IDF should appoint judge [Richard]
Goldstone instead,” referencing the author of a controversial UN report on the
Gaza conflict published in 2009.
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