Four new judges appointed to High Court

The four judges are Prof. Dafna Barak-Erez, Noam Solberg, Zvi Zilbartel and Uri Shohem.

January 6, 2012 12:30
2 minute read.
Israel's Supreme Court

Israeli Supreme Court 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/FILE)


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Four justices were appointed by the Judicial Selection Committee to the High Court of Justice Friday morning. The four judges are Tel Aviv law school dean Prof. Dafna Barak-Erez, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Noam Solberg, Jerusalem District Court Deputy President Zvi Zilbartel and Tel Aviv District Court Judge Uri Shohem.

The announcement followed disagreements between Surpeme Court President Dorit Beinisch and committee chair Ya'akov Neeman regarding the appointment of justices.

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The committee approved all the judges unanimously except for Sohlberg, who received eight out of nine votes.

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar welcomed the appointments, saying the decision validates the new selection method that requires seven out of the nine members to approve new judges.

"The committee's selection is excellent, balanced and demonstrates for the second time the success of the new method," Sa'ar said.

National Union MK Uri Ariel, who sits on the selection committee along with Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu), expressed satisfaction with the appointment of the new judges, and dismissed criticism of Neeman's leadership of the committee.

"To my delight four judges were chosen to the Supreme Court...In contrast to the doubts of many, this committee is run properly under Neeman; today he proved that," Ariel said.

Uriel said that the committee would convene later this month to choose the Supreme Court president to replace outgoing Judge Dorit Beinisch.

"I am positive we will continue our good work in the future as well," Ariel said.

Committee chairman MK David Rotem lauded the newly selected judges. "I'm not sure that significant change is needed in the Supreme Court," he said. "The selection made today was of four good, zionist judges who are loyal to the state of Israel and who will lead the Supreme Court to good places."

Likud faction chair MK Ze'ev Elkin also welcomed the committee's appointment, saying "This is a joyous victory of common sense."

Elkin commended Sohlberg as an "excellent judge" that "many tried to discredit because he is a settler that wears a kippa."

Sohlberg is considered a conservative judge.

"We will continue to work for the sake of varying the makeup up of the Supreme Court, and again instilling the nation's faith in our judges," Elkin said.

United Arab List-Ta'al MK Ahemd Tibi expressed disappointment over the selection of Sohlberg to preside on the Supreme Court, calling it a "black day for justice an equality - a moral defeat for the Israeli legal system."

Tibi criticized Sohlberg for living in a settlement, saying "A settler judge is still a settler that lives on land stolen from Palestinians."

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