Tzipi Livni at the President's residence 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday evening took the unprecedented step of
inviting the press to the opening of the first meeting of the Judicial
Appointments Committee under her leadership.
There was significant public
controversy surrounding the committee toward the end of the term of Livni’s
predecessor, Yaakov Neeman. There were incidents in which judges were accused of
having committed criminal or civil crimes. Supreme Court President Asher D.
Grunis was even quoted as saying that some of the judges were “ticking time
bombs” being kept on the bench so as not to harm their retirement
Livni has campaigned to make the committee more transparent.
However, as she has met with significant resistance, this time she settled for a
press conference right outside the room where the committee was about to
“Choosing judges is not merely a question of professional quality,
but also of judges who are humane and show social concern,” she told
She noted that the courts “embody the democracy of the State
of Israel and its values,” adding, “I believe that politics will remain outside
this room [where the meeting was to occur], and that our work will be properly
focused” to best serve Israel’s citizens.
Also present at the news
conference were Grunis, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, Supreme Court justices
and Knesset members.