Beinisch speech didn't violate judicial ethics, c'tee finds

December 15, 2011 18:35


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The Judicial Ethics Committee announced on Thursday that Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch had not violated any ethical rules in her controversial speech at the Israeli Public Law Association's annual conference two weeks ago.

Advocacy NGO The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed the complaint against Beinisch, after she accused politicians of working to delegitimize the Supreme Court.

However, judicial ombudsman Justice (ret.) Eliezer Goldberg said in his ruling that as Supreme Court President, Beinisch was entitled to express her opinion on what she saw as a trend of damaging the Supreme Court, and noted that the fact this is an issue of public controversy is not a barrier to her doing so.

"In my view, the President has a duty to protect the [court] system against public figures who seek to fulminate against it," said Goldberg, who quoted in his judgement remarks by several of the politicians mentioned by Beinisch in her response to the complaint. Among these was a quote attributed to MK Ya'akov Katz (National Union Party), whom Beinisch said accused the judiciary of being "a miserable little group... exuding a lack of love for the Israeli people".

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