Unwanted Judge Finds Himself in Limbo After Spat With Superior

For more than a month, Gideon Ginat has been sitting at home, without work but with full pay, waiting for a new appointment.

As far as the work overload of courts is concerned, it all seems to come to a screeching halt at the entrance to Haifa: For more than a month the vice president of the Haifa District Court, Gideon Ginat, has been sitting at home, without work but with full pay, waiting for a new appointment. This is because a dispute between Ginat and the president of the Haifa District Court, Bilha Gillor, makes it impossible for him to work in the city - yet the president of the Tel Aviv District Court, Dvora Berliner, refuses to accept him in Tel Aviv.

Officially, according to the court's website, Ginat is still serving as vice president of the Haifa District Court and is occupying the post of a judge. At his office in the District Court, his legal assistant is still being paid in full. However, Haaretz has learned that at the Haifa courthouse his name has been removed from the list of judges at the entrance, and so was the name on his office door and the chamber where he presided. Sources at the court also said that he no longer has a secretary working for him.

Thus, while Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and Courts' Director Moshe Gal warn that the workload of judges in Israel is the highest in the world, and that on average a single judge deals with 1,500 cases, the system is unable to impose the appointment of a judge that would alleviate, to a certain extent, some of this overwhelming workload.

The dispute between Ginat and Gillor began two years ago when he filed a complaint against her after cases he was handling, involving the law office of Gillor's husband, Yossi, were taken from him because he had ruled against one of attorney Yossi Gillor's clients.

Retired judge Eliezer Goldberg, who was charged with the office for complaints by the public against judges, supported the decision to transfer Ginat from the cases. Goldberg also recommended that Ginat be transferred from the Haifa District Court.

The possibility was then raised of appointing Ginat to the Tel Aviv District Court, which was opposed by a number of judges, including Berliner. One judge said that opposition to the transfer stems from the fact that "the Tel Aviv District Court is not a refuge" for judges who did not find a home in other courts.

"The case of Judge Ginat is being evaluated at this time and is expected to be resolved soon," the courts spokeswoman's responded to an Haaretz inquiry into the matter.