A new bill proposed by MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ) would require lower court judges to be appointed in the same way as Supreme Court judges, with approval given by seven of the nine members of the Judicial Appointments Committee.
Currently, District Court and Magistrate's Court judges can be approved by a simple majority of 5-4. In the event all nine members do not show up for the vote, judges can be approved if the majority in favor exceeds those against by at least two.
Should the new bill pass, it would be difficult to appoint any judges without a consensus being reached between the conservative and liberal "camps" on the appointments committee. In effect, the two groups would have to strike deals to appoint lower court judges, just as deals are often struck to name Supreme Court justices. "What's good enough for appointing Supreme Court justices is also good for appointing lower court judges," said Ben Ari.
He added that after the vote for the new Supreme Court justices last month, representatives of both the left-leaning camp, led by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, and the right-leaning group, affiliated with Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, "said the method of choosing for the Supreme Court proved itself, and that it's the only way to get a consensus, given the split in our polarized society.
"The fact that each side will have to make compromises is the only way to restore the public's faith in the committee," Ben Ari said.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now