Chief Justice Claims Erdan 'Intimidates' Judges

Miriam Naor blasts Internal Security Minister for asserting judges who mete out light punishments to stone-throwers won't be promoted.

Uzi Baruch ,

Minister Gilad Erdan
Minister Gilad Erdan
Flash 90

Israel's Chief Justice Miriam Naor blasted Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday, after learning of his plans to prevent the promotion of judges who mete out "light" sentences to rock-throwers.

According to reports, Erdan will meet with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and present her with thirty rulings in recent years in which he believes sentences were too light. 

It is Erdan's opinion that these verdicts should serve as criterion to determining whether or not to promote a Magistrate Court judge to the District Court. 

Naor's office slammed Erdan for putting his own opinion ahead of the law, noting the Chief Justice takes the matter "very seriously."

"These [ideas] are contrary to the principle of private independence of the judge, which is a central element of every democracy. They defy the principle stipulated in the Basic Law - Judiciary, under which no authority has judicial control except the authority of law."

According to Naor, if a sentence appears too light to the executive branch of government, the proper method is to appeal it. 

"The Supreme Court Chief Justice does not express any opinion regarding the appropriate punishment, but would like to protest the attempt to intimidate judges to rule as the executive power wants - or face not being promoted," the statement continued. 

"The statements attributed to Minister Erdan are suitable for countries we have no wish to be like, and not for our Jewish and democratic state," Naor added. "Israel's judges will continue to perform their duties, with fear for no one."