Basic Law: the judiciary
- Passed on 28 February 1984 by the 10th Knesset, the law deals with the judicial authority; the institutions of the judiciary; the principle of independence on matters of judgment; the openness of judicial proceedings; the appointment of judges and their qualifications and tenure of office; the powers of the Supreme Court; the right of appeal, further hearing, and retrial; and the principle of settled law. The law does not deal with the authority of the courts to examine the legality of laws, that is, the power of judicial review. This will be addressed in Basic Law: Legislation when it is enacted. The law includes an instruction regarding its permanence and protection from changes by means of emergency regulations.Among other provisions, the law provides that (a) Judicial power is vested in the following courts: (1) the Supreme Court; (2) a District Court; (3) a Magistrate's Court; (4) another court designated by Law as a court. In this Law, "judge" means a judge of a court as aforesaid. (b) Judicial power is vested also in the following: (1) a religious court (beit din); (2) any other court (beit din): (3) another authority all as prescribed by Law. (c) No court or court (beit din) shall be established for a particular case. . . . A person vested with judicial power shall not, in judicial matters, be subject to any authority but that of the Law. . . . Only an Israeli national shall be appointed judge. . . . (a) The seat of the Supreme Court is Jerusalem. (b) The Supreme Court shall hear appeals against judgments and other decisions of the District Courts. (c) The Supreme Court shall sit also as a High Court of Justice. When so sitting, it shall hear matters in which it deems it necessary to grant relief for the sake of justice and which are not within the jurisdiction of another court (beit mishpat or beit din). (d) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (c), the Supreme Court sitting as a High Court of Justice shall be competent—(1) to make orders for the release of persons unlawfully detained or imprisoned; (2) to order State and local authorities and the officials and bodies thereof, and other persons carrying out public functions under law, to do or refrain from doing any act in the lawful exercise of their functions or, if they were improperly elected or appointed, to refrain from acting; (3) to order courts (batei mishpat and batei din) and bodies and persons having judicial or quasi-judicial powers under law, other than courts dealt with by this Law and other than religious courts (batei din), to hear, refrain from hearing, or continue hearing a particular matter or to void a proceeding improperly taken or a decision improperly given; (4) to order religious courts (batei din) to hear a particular matter within their jurisdiction or to refrain from hearing or continue hearing a particular matter not within their jurisdiction, provided that the application under this paragraph did not raise the question of jurisdiction at the earliest opportunity; and if he had no measurable opportunity to raise the question of jurisdiction until a decision had been given by a religious court (beit din), the court may quash a proceeding taken or a decision given by the religious court (beit din) without authority. (e) Other powers of the Supreme Court shall be prescribed by Law.
Historical Dictionary of Israel. Bernard Reich David H. Goldberg. Edited by Jon Woronoff..
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