'Legislators legislate, judges should adjudicate'

Education Minister Bennett lent his support to Justice Minister Shaked, stating that 'legislators should legislate, and judges adjudicate.'

Yoel Domb ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett lent his support to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked after the sharply critical letter she received from High Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor.

Naor had attacked the proposal to abolish the requirement for a majority of 7 out of 9 judges in the judicial selection committee and had announced that she was terminating contacts with Shaked with regard to choosing new High Court judges.

Bennett said that "unfortunately, over the last decades there has been growing judicial activism and intervention in government work. For example, the [court's] cancellation of the law against [illegal] migrant infiltrators caused a situation in which South Tel Aviv is flooded with migrants and the government cannot act against them."

"It's time the legislators legislated and the judges adjudicated," added Bennett, hinting that it was improper for Judge Naor to respond to legal procedures taking place in the Knesset.

In her letter to Minister Shaked, Naor wrote, among other things, that "submitting this proposal at the present juncture constitutes 'placing a gun on the table'. It means that if some members of the committee will not express their approval of certain candidates, and there will not be a special majority enabling their appointment, the constitutional 'rules of the game' will change so that they can be appointed by a regular majority of the selection committee."

"This situation does not allow us, the judges on the High Court who are members of the judicial selection committee, to continue to consult with you and attempt to reach agreements on appointments. We cannot continue to interact when the final rules may change while we are in consultation.

"Therefore I am forced to announce - with the approval of my colleagues Elyakim Rubinstein and Salim Jubran- that we have no intention of continuing our interaction and pre-consultations with regard to drawing up lists of candidates and possible mutually agreed candidacies. Each of us will work independently within the judicial selection committee according to the law."

The nine-member judicial selection committee includes 3 Supreme Court justices who vote together as a bloc. The present special majority requiring 7 out of 9 votes precludes selecting a judge whom the Supreme Court justices do not want, effectively giving them complete control over the process.