Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish 311 .
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved a bill on Sunday that would
reduce the minimum term a Supreme Court president can serve, opening the door
for Justice Asher Dan Grunis to take the role when Dorit Beinisch
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The committee dismissed an appeal brought by ministers Bennie
Begin and Dan Meridor against the bill sponsored by National Union chairman
Katz’s bill states that the Supreme Court president may
serve for a minimum of two years, rather than the three years currently
stipulated by law.
Katz raised the measure when it became clear that when
the current president Beinisch retires at age 70 next February, Grunis would be
67 years and 41 days old, and hence would not be eligible to replace her as
As the Supreme Court follows a tradition of seniority, it
would have been likely that Justice Miriam Naor would have taken Beinisch’s
place – and not Grunis – following her retirement.
Explaining his reasons
for submitting the bill, Katz said that it was his duty as an elected official
to ensure that a judge as highly regarded as Grunis should not be excluded from
the position of Supreme Court president on the grounds of age.
have been difficult for me to stand by and watch a competent judge be forced to
serve three years minus 41 days beside a much younger president, just as [that
judge] is at the height of his abilities and an asset to Israel’s legal
community,” said Katz.
“Two years are an adequate minimal time period for
a Supreme Court president to make his mark on the legal world. I’m glad we
managed to convince the government of that fact.”
The bill is likely to
pass a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.