The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved Sunday by a one vote margin a bill that would allow centrists and nationalists to retain the small edge within the Committee for Appointment of Judges (CAJ). This vote gives the bill a good chance of passing in the Knesset.
The bill states that the Chairman of the Bar Association will always be one of the Bar's two representatives on the nine-member CAJ. Currently, both representatives are selected by the Bar Association Council.
Recent elections within the Bar Association dethroned the former head of the Bar, Yuri Guy-Ron, who is favored by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and hardline left wingers. However, the winner – Doron Barzilai – was not able to form a coalition within in the Bar Association Council, and Guy Ron was.
This means that both representatives that the Bar will send to the CAJ in late November will belong to Beinisch's faction – which is opposed by centrists and nationalists, including Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman. Currently, one of the Bar's representatives belongs to the Ne'eman camp and the other to the Beinisch camp.
The bill would place Barzilai in the CAJ. Assuming the other representative will be from the Beinisch camp, the current political balance in the committee will remain unchanged: 5 members belong to the Ne'eman camp and four to the Beinisch camp.
Since a majority of seven is required for appointing judges to the Supreme Court, deadlock and deals are expected in any case.