The Knesset's Law, Constitution and Justice Committee voted 7:6 Monday in favor of a bill that would change the formula for representation of the Bar Association in the Committee for Selection of Judges. The change will have the effect of adding a candidate who is considered close to Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman to the committee, instead of a leftist one.
The bill can now be brought to the plenum for approval in the second and third readings.
The nine-member Committee for Selection of Judges currently includes two representatives from the Bar Association. While the Bar Association recently elected a chairman who is considered to be a member of the "Ne'eman camp," its assembly is still controlled by the pro-Beinisch camp. After the Bar Association elections, the assembly selected two leftists to represent it in the Committee for Selection of Judges, thus shifting the balance of power in the Committee.
In order to undo this, nationalists proposed the bill, which stipulates that one of the Bar Association representatives must represent the ruling coalition within the Bar Association, while the other must represent the opposition.
The bill was authored by MKs Yariv Levin (Likud) and Robert Tibayev (Yisrael Beitenu).
The Committee for Selection of Judges is made up of two government ministers (including the Minister of Justice), three representatives from the Supreme Court (including the Supreme Court President), two representatives from the Knesset (one from the Coalition, one from the Opposition), and two representatives of the Bar Association. Appointment of Supreme Court judges requires a majority of seven, while appointment of lower cour t judges requires only a majority of five.