Beinisch Rejects Friedmann's Term Limits Bill

Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch yesterday voiced her strong opposition to a bill initiated by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann that would limit the terms of presiding judges. "In my view, the bill is superfluous," Beinisch wrote to the Knesset.

The bill, which would apply across all Israeli courts, would limit the terms of court presidents and their deputies to a maximum of seven years. In addition, a judge who is slated to retire within three years would not be eligible for the court presidency.

In a position paper sent to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Beinisch wrote: "I find it difficult to understand the purpose of the proposed law, and its contribution to the courts. The term of the president of the Supreme Court bears constitutional significance. This requires debate of a more profound nature."

The Supreme Court's chief justice and deputy chief justice's terms are not limited. Presidents of district and magistrates courts are limited to four-year terms, which may be extended indefinitely.