The Regavim Association has issued a report showing that the Supreme Court gives blatant preferential treatment to left-wing associations.
Regavim’s full name is the Association for the Preservation of State Lands - from being taken over by hostile elements. Its report is based on the results of a four-year study of the Supreme Court’s approach to law suits brought by various groups – and especially in the pre-ruling stages, when the legal merits of the various cases are not yet known.
The report shows the Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, in particular, is biased towards the left wing.
The preferential treatment towards lawsuits brought by the left wing is manifest in the following areas: Rushed proceedings, Beinisch’s participation on the judicial panel, the issuance of restraining orders against the State, intervention in government decisions, and especially the final rulings.
The report includes many petitions brought against illegal construction, Jewish and Arab. The seriousness with which suits against Jewish construction is taken is shown to be much greater than similar petitions against illegal Arab building.
“The Court’s approach to the various suits brought before it was analyzed based on objective and quantifiable parameters,” the report states, “and the findings show clearly that while left-wing petitions receive serious and rigorous consideration, similar suits brought by those identified with the right-wing [nationalist camp] are treated lightly and with derision.”
Among the parameters analyzed were the time it took for the Court to respond to a petition; the number of sessions held on the matter and the duration over which they were spread out; the panel of justices appointed to deal with them; and the issuance of restraining and interim orders.
Regavim explains that its report concentrated on the procedural matters of a given suit, which take place before its merits are considered. “At this stage,” the report’s author, Betzalel Smutrich, explains, “the decisions reflect the judges’ basic positions and biases, if any, towards the matter. This is why the tremendous differences between the right-wing and left-wing petitions, as we show in the report, cannot be attributed to scholarly legal hairsplitting.”
“The facts described in the report clearly indicate a consistent and conscious policy that is based on political outlooks,” Smutrich says, “and it is led unequivocally by Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch.”
Smutrich stopped short of calling for Beinisch to disqualify herself from political lawsuits, however – presumably because she is not likely to do so.
“The public cannot be expected to place its trust in its judges under such circumstance,” he concluded.