The Knesset Law Committee is holding a special public meeting today, Sunday, on the “seniority” method for appointing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. According to the method, the most senior judge on the court is appointed automatically as Chief Justice.
Current Chief Justice Miriam Naor said at the opening of her statement that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had promised her that she would support the appointment of Judge Esther Hayut as the next Chief Justice.
Judge Naor also said that she hoped that Hayut’s appointment would pass unanimously. “The timing for dealing with the seniority method is not fitting. The meeting we are holding today must be seen as a meeting about principles disconnected from personal matters.”
“Everyone who changes is in the inferior position,” Naor added, saying, “Whoever says ‘no’ to the seniority method could discover in the future that he is saying ‘no’ to his preferred candidate.”
The hearing in the Committee is part of a compromise between the Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked, and the Chief Justice, Miriam Naor.
According to the compromise, the public hearing on the seniority issue was to be held in the Law Committee of the Knesset and not in the Judicial Appointment Committee; however, the Justice Minister and Chief Justice would nevertheless participate in the hearing.
The hearing also sees a long list respected speakers from the legal field in academia and the legal system in attendance, as well as organizations dealing with criticism of the legal system.