Ministerial vote on judge selection process postponed

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation decided Sunday to postpone its vote on a bill submitted by MK Eli Gabai (NU/NRP) that would change the way judges are selected. The bill, which is similar to one drawn up by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, would reduce the power of Supreme Court justices in selecting judges. Under the system that has been in place since the early '50s, the Committee for Selecting Judges has nine members, including three from the Supreme Court - its president and two justices - as well as the justice minister, another minister, two MKs and two representatives of the Israeli Bar Association. Gabai's proposal would add a professor and the chairman of the Knesset Law Committee - something that opponents say would overly politicize the selection process. In addition, Gabai's bill seeks to replace the two Supreme Court justices on the committee with retired District Court judges, another move that is considered part of Friedmann's struggle against the power of sitting Supreme Court justices. A new date has yet to be set for a vote on the legislation, but Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch already took to the airwaves on Sunday to express her opposition to the proposed law.