Israel to Begin Broadcasting Select Court Rulings in Transparency Push

The coronavirus 'has led to welcome thinking on how we can contribute to streamlining the service and making public accessibility more transparent,' Supreme Court president says

Chen Maanit
Chen Maanit
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Supreme Court President Esther Hayut in court, in April.
Supreme Court President Esther Hayut in court, in April.Credit: Noam Rivkin Panton
Chen Maanit
Chen Maanit

Eighteen select rulings from magistrate's and district courts around Israel will be broadcast live for the first time over the course of the year, a spokesman for the court system said Tuesday.

Following an agreement reached between Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and court presidents, three rulings each will be broadcast from of Israel’s six judicial districts in 2022, according to a statement issued by the Israel Judicial Authority.

The broadcasts will be made “in accordance with judicial decisions given by the presiding judge or panel of judges hearing the case, and subject to the agreement of the parties,” it said.

The decision empowers a panel of judges to determine the beginning and end times for the broadcasts, which will be aired exclusively on the Judicial Authority channel.

The channel was established as part of an experiment in live broadcasts of Supreme Court hearings last year. The broadcasts are shared with the media and social media and uploaded to the Judicial Authority’s website. Only the judges will be filmed, unless the court involved rules otherwise.

“Despite the difficulties and the obvious disadvantages created by the outbreak of the coronavirus, it has also led to welcome thinking on how we can contribute to streamlining the service and making public accessibility more transparent,” said Hayut.

The decision to begin live broadcasts was based, among other things, on the recommendations of a panel submitted to the president of the Supreme Court last July. Headed by Judge Tzachi Uziel, president of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Magistrate's Court, the team recommended broadcasts of “rulings in all courts in cases of public interest.”

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