Neeman and Beinisch pick court presidents

Move marks first time under new gov't justice minister and Supreme Court president have had to work together to make judicial appointments.

Beinisch 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Beinisch 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch on Monday announced the appointment of new presidents for five district and magistrate's courts. The new presidents are Tel Aviv District Court Judge Dvora Berliner, who until now was also a candidate for the Supreme Court, Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court Judge Ziva Herman-Hadassi, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Shulamit Dotan, Central District Magistrate's Court Judge Daphna Blatman Kedrai and Northern District Magistrate's Courts Judge Georges Azoulay. It marks the first time since the establishment of the new government on March 31 that Neeman and Beinisch have had to work together to make judicial appointments. The appointments were necessary because of a law approved at the suggestion of Neeman's predecessor, Daniel Friedmann, that limited the tenure of lower court presidents to one term of seven years. The outgoing presidents who were replaced were Tel Aviv District Court President Uri Goren, Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court President Edna Bankenstein, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court President Amnon Cohen, Central District Magistrate's Courts President Yehuda Farago and Nazareth Magistrate's Court President Tawfic Kteily. According to the new procedure for choosing lower court presidents, judges belonging to the court where the vacancy occurs may ask to be considered for the opening. A selection committee headed by a judge is appointed for each position and chooses two or three candidates from among the applicants. The shortlist is submitted to the justice minister and the Supreme Court president. The losing shortlisted candidates included Tel Aviv District Court Judge Uri Shoham, Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court Judges Avi Zamir and Mordechai Peled, Jerusalem Magistrate's Court Judge Yitzhak Shimoni, Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court Judge Shaul Manheim and Kiryat Shmona Magistrate's Court Judge Mordechai Nadel. Berliner will preside over the largest district court in the country. Since 2003 she has served as deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court. In 2006, she was appointed as an acting Supreme Court justice for nine months.