Supreme Court President Esther Hayut canceled her retirement ceremony at the President's Residence, according to a report on Sunday by Avishai Grinzaig of Kan 11 News.
The reason for the move is Justice Minister Yariv Levin's refusal to convene the Judicial Selection Committee in order to appoint a new President. Hayut, who conveyed a message on the matter to President Isaac Herzog, claims there is no point in holding the traditional retirement and swearing-in ceremony as long as no replacement for her has been appointed.
The cancellation of the ceremony at the President's Residence is not the only unusual event. The Director of the Courts asked Levin not to speak at the retirement ceremonies of President Hayut and Judge Anat Baron later this month.
The official reasoning relates to the fact that there is an open petition against the Minister of Justice and, for that reason, the Attorney General and the head of the Israel Bar Association will not speak either.
Sources close to Justice Minister Levin said in response that there is no issue in convening the Judicial Selection Committee and appointing a new president, but that appointment should not be based on the principle of seniority, as has been done traditionally.
Following the seniority principle would result in the appointment of Judge Yitzhak Amit as the next President of the Supreme Court. Members of the government have objected to him being appointed to that rule.
The Director of the Courts stated, "Due to pending cases, it was decided that no external officials will speak at the retirement ceremonies, only the President and the judges. The swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Residence, which usually takes place after the ceremony at the Supreme Court, will not take place since a President is not being sworn in."