Justice Minister Achieves First Reform of Justice System

Knesset passes law limiting terms of court presidents to 7 years; Friedmann: I will continue to initiate reforms.

The Knesset Monday passed a law limiting the terms of all court presidents to seven years. The law also applies to the president of the Supreme Court.

The law, which constitutes the first reform passed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, also limits the minimum age for Supreme Court presidency to 67.

The law sparked a confrontation between Friedmann and Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish.

The new law seeks to rectify the current state of affairs, in which court presidents are nominated for four-year terms, but serve until the age of 70, with the exception of the Supreme Court president, who is nominated for an unlimited term and serves until the age of 70.

The law stipulates that all court presidents be nominated for a single seven-year term, and bars justices who are less than three years from retirement from Supreme Court presidency.

A Meretz spokesperson said in reaction to the law that "as the noose of suspicions tightens around Prime Minister Olmert's neck, he sends his squire? Professor Friedmann - to throw stones at the Supreme Court.:

MK Ran Cohen (Meretz) said in that "those who fear the power of the Supreme Court president are deposing him after seven years."

MK Dov Hanin (Hadash) said that "they are trying to build a bed of Sodom for the Supreme Court president."

Friedmann said that the new law reflects the application of the principle of equality to the court system, and stated that he will continue to initiate reforms aimed at "strengthening the justice system."

Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chair MK Menachem Ben-Sasson (Kadima) argued that the opposition opposed the new law solely because it was Friedmann's initiative.