‘Grunis Bill’ passes preliminary reading in Knesset

Legislation would reduce the minimal term a Supreme Court president can serve; 33 MKs vote in favor of bill, 18 against.

Supreme Court 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Supreme Court 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Knesset has approved on preliminary reading the “Grunis Bill” – legislation that would reduce the minimal term a Supreme Court president can serve.
Thirty-three MKs voted in favor and 18 voted against the bill, which was proposed by MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) in a bid to allow Justice Asher Dan Grunis to become Supreme Court president when Dorit Beinisch retires in February.
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Katz’s bill would amend the current law stipulating that a Supreme Court president may only be appointed if he is eligible to serve for at least three years. The “Grunis Bill” would reduce that to two years.
Grunis will be 67 years and 41 days old when Beinisch leaves the bench. Because mandatory retirement age is 70, he would not be eligible to replace her.
Katz said that he sponsored the private bill to ensure that a justice as highly regarded as Grunis should not be excluded from the position of Supreme Court president on the grounds of age.
“It would 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, while [that judge] is at the height of his abilities and is an asset to Israel’s legal community,” Katz said.
The Kneset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee will now debate the bill in preparation for first reading.