Poll: Faith in Supreme Court plummets

Survey shows faith in high court has fallen significantly over the last two decades.

Shlomo Pyotrovsky ,

Supreme Court of Israel
Supreme Court of Israel

A new poll conducted by the Geocartographia polling firm, shows the public’s faith in Israel’s legal system has eroded significantly since the 1990s, dropping to the lowest level recorded.

According to the survey, which was headed by Professor Avi Degani, just 22% of Israeli Jews say they fully trust the Israeli Supreme Court to carry out its duties properly.

By contrast, in a similar poll carried out in 1991, 41% of Israeli Jews said they had full faith in the high court.

While in 1991, 80% of Israelis – both Arabs and Jews – said they either totally trusted or had a large degree of faith in the Supreme Court, today, just 56% of Israelis said they placed a significant level of trust in the court.

On the other hand, the number of Israeli Jews who said they have no trust whatsoever in the court quadrupled, from 3% in 1991 to 12% in 2016.

Nor was the Supreme Court the only body in the Israeli legal system to experience this drop in levels of public trust.

The poll also shows the Israeli public putting significantly less in the State Comptroller’s office.

While 80% of Israelis had total or a large degree of trust in the State Comptroller in 1991, just 55% said the same in 2016.

A far smaller drop in the level of public trust was recorded for the Knesset, which had a poor rating even in 1991. Compared to 27% who had a significant level of trust in the legislature in 1991, 23% had a similar level of faith in the Knesset in 2016.

Professor Degani said the results were a warning sign for Israeli democracy.

“It is very important for Israeli democracy to take account of the fact that most of the Israeli public (70% of it) doesn’t trust the Knesset. In general, the situation of Israeli democracy is worrisome when so few people have faith in the two agencies [the Supreme Court and Comptroller] which are supposed to act as a check on the executive branch.”