The Court Ombudswoman, Justice (ret.) Tova Strasberg-Cohen on Sunday condemned the practice of holding preliminary hearings on civil appeals in the absence of the litigants themselves.
Strasberg-Cohen wrote that she had recently dealt with a case in which the judges and lawyers had met in the presiding judge's chambers in a pre-trial discussion without inviting the litigants to attend.
She said this practice violated the right of the litigants to be present at all hearings related to their case and that the practice of holding preliminary discussions without inviting them, however widespread it might be, must stop.
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