Israeli chief justice spars with justice minister on her replacement

Israel’s Chief Justice reportedly wants her successor chosen according to seniority, a standard apparently rejected by Justice Minister Shaked. 

Chief Justice of Israel’s Supreme Court Miriam Naor appears to be at a standstill with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked over the former’s successor.

Justice Naor is retiring in the fall and, according to a report in Israel’s Yediot Achronot, believes her successor should be chosen by the customary standard of seniority. Until now, all new court presidents have been chosen this way, leaving Justice Esther Hayut next in line.

However, Shaked is reportedly unwilling to rubber stamp Hayut. Like some of her predecessors, among them Likud Justice Minister Daniel Friedman, and two Labor Justice Ministers, Yossi Beilin and Haim Ramon, Shaked apparently prefers a merit-based system of approval for the next Chief Justice.

“By marking the next chief justice many years in advance, the current Judicial Selection Committee becomes, in effect, a rubber stamp,” said a senior judicial official, according to Ynet, reflecting Shaked’s apparent position.

Some speculate the dispute runs deeper, particularly with regards to recent rulings on homes in Judea and Samaria that are found ex post facto to be built on private land. Chief Justice Na’or has chosen justices, such as Hayut, to rule on such cases, leading to the destruction of Jewish homes, including those in Amona.

The Justice Minister’s Jewish Home party supports expansion in Judea and Samaria and opposes such Supreme Court decisions. It would be counter-intuitive for Shaked to choose the traditional route and rubber stamp Justice Hayut.

After having selected three new justices, Shaked is in a unique position to potentially shift the Supreme Court on major cases, including those pertaining to the legality of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.

By: World Israel News Staff