Two New Israeli Supreme Court Justices Sworn In

Yosef Elron and Yael Willner join the bench at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
Supreme Court Justice Yael Wilner next to Supreme Court President Esther Hayut, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, October 30, 2017.
Supreme Court Justice Yael Wilner next to Supreme Court President Esther Hayut, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, October 30, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

Supreme Court justices Yosef Elron and Yael Willner were sworn in to their new posts on Monday at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

The two were chosen in February by the Judicial Appointments Committee to fill the spots vacated by justices Miriam Naor and Elyakim Rubinstein, who recently retired. At the same time, Justice Hanan Melcer was sworn in as deputy Supreme Court president, under President Esther Hayut.

Elron, who was previously president of the Haifa District Court, is an expert in criminal cases. He was chosen for the Supreme Court over the objections of the justices on the appointments committee. Elron’s candidacy was supported by the head of the panel, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who regards him as a conservative with nationalist leanings, as well as Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and the representatives of the Israel Bar Association. He will serve on the court eight years.

Willner, who also served in the Haifa District Court, dealt primarily with civil cases and administrative appeals. She is a religious Zionist who clerked with former Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch in the State Prosecutor’s Office. She has been a judge since 1998, the last nine years in the district court. She was a compromise candidate supported by both Shaked and the justices on the selection committee. The other two justices chosen by the selection committee, George Karra and David Mintz, were sworn in five months ago.

In January the Appointments Selection Committee is expected to reconvene to choose replacements for justices Yoram Danziger, who will retire in February, and Uri Shoham, who will step down in August. When that happens, six justices will have been replaced in a little over a year.

Candidates being mooted to replace Danziger include Barak Tal, a senior partner in the law office of Yigal Arnon, and Meir Mizrahi, an attorney specializing in tax law. Central District Court Judge Ofer Grosskopf is being touted as a possible replacement for Shoham.

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