Chief Justice joined meetings of committee she wasn't part of

Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut attended meetings to choose justices - even though she wasn't on the committee.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Miriam Naor and Esther Hayut
Miriam Naor and Esther Hayut
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Journals of Supreme Court justices show that Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut attended meetings held to discuss the election of justices before her appointment as Chief Justice.

At the time she attended and actively participated in these meetings, Hayut was not on the Supreme Court's election committee - and therefore should not have attended, Israel Hayom reported.

During at least twelve of these meetings, when former Chief Justice Miriam Naor, former Deputy Chief Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, and justice Salim Joubran gathered to discuss the appointment of justices, Hayut joined them, even though she was not part of the committee.

According to law, the committee's members must use their own judgement when selecting justices, and they must not be influenced by matters of the court. The law reads, "A member of the committee must vote according to his own conscience, and he must not be obligated to the decision of the body to which the committee he is a member of belongs."

According to the Israel Hayom report, Hayut's presence shows that the committee did not act according to law, since its members voted based on the decisions of the institution they belong to.

"Section 6a of the Courts Law says the committee's members must vote according to their conscience, and we believe they did so. This section does not forbid the committee's members from seeking the counsel of others," the court management responded.

"Justice Hayut, who was in line to serve as Chief Justice when Naor left, was asked to participate in some of these meetings, so she did. Chief Justice Hayut does not seen any reason to give the media names of those she was in contact with, as long as the decision to refrain is up to her."