President of the Israeli Supreme Court, Judge Miriam Naor, meets with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Law is increasingly becoming women’s profession in Israel and not just because the president of the Supreme Court, justice minister and director-general of the Justice Ministry all happen to be women.
Of the 25 judges and court registrars officially appointed Wednesday by President Reuven Rivlin, together with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Supreme Court President Miriam Naor, 15 are women.
Addressing the new judges and registrars, Rivlin, Naor and Shaked each focused on the pledge made by each of the new appointees to uphold the Law of Israel; refrain from showing favor; rule justly; and reject bribes.
Rivlin was particularly absorbed with the issue of not showing favor, and quoted the interpretations of several Talmudic sages.
He also emphasized that the status of the court depends on the trust and confidence the public has in its judges. Such confidence, he said, is earned through rulings that are fair and just, and urged the new members of the bench not to judge those who come before them according to their status, but in accordance with the facts of the case. At the same time, he warned them not to be misled by their own impartiality.
Naor, who on Tuesday returned from Poland after participating in the March of the Living, was still somewhat traumatized by that experience, and the address she gave deviated from her usual style.
She referred to herself as coming into the world between destruction and rebirth, having been born in 1947 after the Holocaust but before the establishment of the State of Israel.
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The Supreme Court president had been the sixth of the torch lighters, and said she thought of the new judges in Israel as she kindled a torch in memory of all the judges who were murdered in the Holocaust.
When listening to the new judges make their pledges, Naor said she was reminded of the Holocaust where no one was judged fairly and with justice. She stressed that justice is an essential element of democracy, and that none of the decisions taken during the Holocaust were democratic.
Shaked also invoked the Holocaust, referring to the 6 million Jewish victims as “our brothers and sisters who were denied justice.”
The process of justice is not easy, she said, but it is the task of the judge to listen to all sides and then reach a just and fair decision.
Acknowledging that this was a heavy burden for judges to carry, Shaked also put in a word for compassion saying that justice emanating from the courts should be tinged with compassion.
Of the new judges and registrars, 14 were appointed to magistrate’s courts, five to district courts, four to traffic courts and two to labor courts.
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