Supreme Court Pres.: We Must Fear for Independence of the Courts

In meeting of delegation of int'l judges and law experts to Knesset, many praise Israel's court system.

Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish warned Tuesday that she fears for the independence of the court.

"We tell people from the outside that our democracy is so stable that we need not fear for the independence of the courts, and that it is hard to harm us. But let there be no misunderstanding: There is a danger," said Beinish during a visit by a delegation of judges and constitutional law experts to the Knesset.

The delegation, who met with the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee Chairman MK Menachem Ben Sasson (Kadima), had high praise for the Israeli judicial system. Professor Jeffrey Joel of the University of London said that "this is a wonderful system that influences many countries, and lately, on Britain as well." Joel went on to say that he was concerned of any possible threat to the system.

Professor Loren Weinraub, one of the writers of the Canadian constitution, also praised the Israeli judicial system. Even though Israel does not have a formal constitution, Weinraub said "Israel has a constitution and it is admired," referring to Israel's Basic Laws and Supreme Court rulings. "A constitution is not a piece of paper, but it is a process, a living tree," Weinraub said.

Other delegation participants cited how the British system is becoming similar to the Israeli one because of the non-political appointments to the Supreme Court, and warned of changing the system in Israel.

Beinish was very satisfied, saying that "they couldn?t say better things."