Supreme Court Justice Asher Dan Grunis 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Supreme Court)
Supreme Court President Asher Dan Grunis said on Monday that Judge Varda Alshech
will not be dismissed from her post for amending a court protocol, but will
receive a severe reprimand.
The Bar Association filed a complaint against
Alshech, who is the Tel Aviv District Court vice president, in 2011. The
complaint came after a lawyer who had taken part in a hearing before the judge
identified differences between the the minutes of the court hearing he received
immediately after the session and another copy of the protocol he received
several months later.
In a letter to Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman,
Grunis said Alshech could remain a judge and noted that Judiciary Ombudsman
Eliezer Goldberg, a retired Supreme Court justice, had not recommended
terminating Alshech’s tenure when he accepted the complaint against
Grunis wrote that a careful study of Goldberg’s report on Alshech
showed that the amendments she made to the protocols reflected what had happened
in the court hearing.
Therefore, he wrote, Alshech had not “faked” the
The judge would not be dismissed, but a “stern reprimand”
would be recorded in her personal file, Grunis said, noting that in one of two
formal discussions he had held with Alshech he warned her against carrying out
similar actions in the future.
“There is no place to use my authority
under the Basic Law: The Judiciary to recommend that the Judicial Selection
Committee end Alshech’s tenure,” Grunis said. “I do not have authority to file a
complaint to the Judges Disciplinary Court; however, in my opinion there is no
reason to take such a step.”
Grunis added that Alshech had made “an
important contribution to the development of bankruptcy laws.”
Association chairman Effi Neve slammed Grunis’s move.
cannot accept [Supreme Court] President Grunis’s decision. The facts, as laid
out by the Judiciary Ombudsman, require that steps be taken toward a
disciplinary proceeding at the very least,” Neve said, adding that Grunis should
take Monday’s decision on Alshech into account should there be future complaints
about the erosion of public confidence in the judicial system.