Beinish: Supervisors tried to help Judge Benatar

Following Benatar's suicide due to work overload, Supreme Court president rejects claim that managers treated the justice in an incorrect manner.

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish 311  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Supreme Court President Judge Dorit Beinisch on Wednesday reacted to the suicide of Jerusalem Magistrate's court Judge Maurice Benatar and rejected the claim that his supervisors treated him in an incorrect manner.
In a letter to judges, Banish wrote that Ben Atar's managers tried to help him deal with the work overload and the stress he suffered from.
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"We have lost a dear judge and individual, a devoted, fair and well-mannered," Banish wrote. "We are shocked at his death."
Benatar was found dead in his home in Modi’in on Tuesday evening, apparently a suicide. He was found by his wife with a plastic bag over his head and a suicide note resting next to him.
The suicide note explained that case overload at work was among the reasons the judge decided to kill himself.
Benatar was recently called in for a meeting with President of the Jerusalem Magistrate's court Judge Shlomit Dotan and Court Administration head Judge Moshe Gal, to talk about his work performance. A source at the Justice Ministry told The Jerusalem Post that the judge had been facing difficulties with his demanding workload for years. In the meeting the judge was told to determine for himself how to proceed after previous attempts were made to reduce his caseload.
"Judicial work is not easy," Beinish writes. "The work involves a great deal of pressure, load and a heavy responsibility which arises from the authority imposed on us to ensure justice. Dealing with this is not easy. It certainly is not easy given the load of cases, which is, as we always note, among the highest in the West."
Beinish and Gal, with the assistance of President of the Courts are "doing everything in their ability to ease the work overload and streamline the work methods so we will all be able to provide good, efficient service to those who arrive at our gates. This is not a simple task, but we will stand by it since it is our mission," Beinish wrote.