'Beinisch’s speech did not violate judicial ethics'

Supreme Court president did not violate ethical rules when she accused politicians of working to deligitimize High Court.

December 16, 2011 02:34
1 minute read.
Dorit Beinisch

Dorit Beinisch 311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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The Judicial Ethics Committee announced on Thursday that Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch had not violated any ethical rules in her controversial speech at the Israeli Public Law Association’s annual conference two weeks ago. The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel filed the complaint against Beinisch, after she accused politicians of working to delegitimize the Supreme Court.

However, judicial ombudsman Justice (ret.) Eliezer Goldberg said in his ruling that as Supreme Court president, Beinisch was entitled to express her opinion on what she saw as a trend of damaging the Supreme Court, and noted that the fact this is an issue of public controversy is not a barrier to her doing so.

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“In my view, the president has a duty to protect the [court] system against public figures who seek to fulminate against it,” said Goldberg, who quoted in his judgement remarks by several of the politicians mentioned by Beinisch in her response to the complaint. Among these was a quote attributed to MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union), whom Beinisch said accused the judiciary of being “a miserable little group... exuding a lack of love for the Israeli people.”

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