(photo credit: Channel 10)
Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann released a draft on Wednesday of the first piece of legislation in his program to make sweeping reforms in the court system. According to the bill, all court presidents and deputy presidents would be appointed for a one-time term of seven years.
Friedmann emphasized that the change would not apply to the current president and deputy president of the Supreme Court and the National Labor Court.
In fact, however, the judges currently holding these positions are due to retire before seven years are up. They are Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, Deputy Supreme Court President Eliezer Rivlin and National Labor Court President Steven Adler. The position of Adler's deputy is currently vacant.
According to Friedmann, "the bill is one of the initiatives to strengthen the judicial system and to establish rules that will guarantee the independence of the court presidents while they hold the position."
Currently, the president and deputy president of the Supreme Court and National Labor Court hold their positions until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 70.
There has been a tradition in the Supreme Court since its establishment that the president and the deputy president are automatically chosen according to seniority.
The presidents and deputy presidents of lower courts would serve seven-year terms as soon as the Knesset passes the bill. Currently, they are appointed by the justice minister with the consent of the Supreme Court president for a period of four years with a possible one-term extension.