One of the first things new Israel Bar Association chairman Doron Barzilay plans to do is to reinstitute attorney ratings of judges, he told Haaretz yesterday.
Barzilay, who defeated incumbent chairman Yori Geiron in Tuesday's election and will be heading the lawyers group for the next four years, said there was no reason judges should not be subject to evaluation by lawyers, as had been the case in the past, and that this feedback would improve transparency and the quality of judging.
Barzilay won 7,561 of the 14,804 votes cast, Geiron garnered 6,157 and Hussam Mo'ed won 734. About 32 percent of eligible voters participated.
On the regional level, Asher Axelrod retained his chairmanship of the Bar's Jerusalem district, while in the Tel Aviv district, Efraim Nave scored a decisive victory over Geiron's candidate, Eviatar Knoller. Yosef Haham was voted chairman of the Haifa district, while Khaled Zoa'bi will chair the northern district and Danny Alyagon will remain chairman of the southern district.
Geiron issued a statement conceding his loss, adding, "I cannot conceal my concern about the depressing reality heralded by the results of this election, since one cannot separate the prestige of the profession from the status of the Bar and the place of lawyers in the public and social discourse."
Asked about the concern Geiron expressed regarding his election, Barzilay replied, "I'm not dealing with the slanders of the past; I'm dealing with the future. I'm certain the Bar will reach its proper place in the judicial system."
Barzilay said he plans to work to combat the inundation of the market with new lawyers, to battle efforts by other professionals to assume responsibilities that are the sole purview of attorneys, and to restore the rating of judges, which had been stopped several years ago under pressure from judges.
While Geiron had supported examining ways to evaluate judges, he opposed their being rated by attorneys and having the results of the survey released to the media.
Barzilay denied that he owed his election to efforts made by supporters of former Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann's confrontational approach to the judicial system.
"I will act with respect and appreciation for the judicial system," Barzilay said.
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