The Judges Election Committee will meet on June 3 to choose new justices for the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann announced on Tuesday.
The June session will mark the first time the committee has met since May 6, 2004.
Since then, five Supreme Court justices have retired and none of the vacant slots have been permanently filled. Currently, 10 permanent justices and two acting justices serve on the Supreme Court.
The committee was due to meet on March 27 to elect new justices, but Friedmann, who had only been recently been appointed justice minister, decided to postpone the meeting until he had time to consider additional candidates for the positions.
Friedmann also announced the two dates - April 19 and June 13 - on which the process of electing 26 judges to the magistrate's and district courts would be completed. The committee has already filled 15 of the 41 vacancies in the lower courts.
In another development, Friedmann announced that he was going to establish another district court for the center of the country.
Currently, the Tel Aviv District Court handles all matters for Tel Aviv and the surrounding area. Friedmann announced that the temporary location of the Central District Court would be in Petah Tikvah.
Furthermore, Friedmann said he had decided to move the bailiff's offices from the Tel Aviv court complex and use the space to build new courtrooms and offices for judges.
He said he was negotiating for additional judicial slots in addition to the roughly 600 in existence today, and that the ministry would build new courthouses in Ashkelon and Afula, and an addition to the courthouse in Ashdod.
Friedmann said that in the next few weeks, he would announce substantial court building additions in the center of the country.
Friedmann's announcement followed a briefing last week with justice reporters in which Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch said the judicial system faced a severe shortage of judges and severe administrative problems, including the physical infrastructure of many courthouses.
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