Beinisch Announces Plan to Cut Supreme Court Caseload

Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent
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Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch on Thursday publicly confirmed reports that she plans to substantially reduce the number of cases heard by the high court.

At an Israel Bar Association conference that opened last night in Eilat, Beinisch said "I have no intention of modeling our Supreme Court after the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears eighty cases a year. I must lower expectations. I wouldn't even want the Supreme Court to hear just 80 cases a year, but 2,000 to 3,000 would be sufficient."

More than 12,000 legal proceedings are filed with the Supreme Court annually, of which 6,000 are actual cases to be heard.

The plan was revealed last week by acting court administrator Judge Moshe Gal, who called it a joint initiative of his and Beinisch's.

"The current situation in the Supreme Court is unacceptable," Gal said. "Supreme Court justices need to write rulings only on subjects that interest them. We must find a way that would allow them to deal only with matters of principle."

Beinisch explained that, as part of an initiative to streamline legal proceedings and eliminate red tape, there are plans to sponsor legislation that would mandate certain appeals be heard by a single justice. She noted the legislation has stalled a number of times due to the rapid turnover of justice ministers.

"It is impossible to promote legislation without a justice minister," she said. "A number of ministers have taken on the legislative mantle, but it has been shelved every time."

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