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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Dorit Beinisch’

High Court: Obeying the Law Not Enough to Establish Jewish Ownership in Judea and Samaria

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The Israeli High Court of Justice ruled late Tuesday night that a Jewish inhabitant of a tract of land near the community of Kedumim in Samaria can no longer use the existing legal framework as the basis for his ownership of the land.

The High Court accepted the petition brought by three Palestinians – which was filed by Yesh Din (an anti-settlement non-profit organization) and later joined by the State Prosecutor’s Office, stating that Michael Lesens must evacuate the tract within a month, and ordering the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria to oversee and enforce his eviction. Lesens was also ordered to pay the Palestinians NIS 20,000 in compensation.

The petitioners claimed that Lesens planted crops, installed an irrigation system, and fenced in the tract against the orders of the Civil Administration. Lesens, for his part, cited Section 20 of the Ottoman Land Law to argue that because he and others had cultivated the land for more than 10 years, the statute of limitations had expired, and claims against his assumption of ownership could no longer be asserted.

But the bench – comprised of Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch (who, though retired, continues to preside over cases that were initiated prior to her retirement), Edna Arbel, and Miriam Naor – stated that Lesens had not proven to the court that he had cultivated the land for over 10 years, and even if he had, he would still be required to demonstrate that he had “honestly taken” possession of the land in question.

It is precisely this part of the decision that has left-wing organizations cheering and nationalists fuming – as the court appeared to set a new precedent by creating an additional evidentiary hurdle to asserting ownership, and -in effect- mandating that one could no longer obtain ownership of land in Judea and Samaria under the prevailing law.

Aside from its demonstrable departure from the current law on the books, the new court-ordered requirement is somewhat dubious, as it will likely be difficult for Jews claiming ownership to provide proof that they acquired the land using honest means; especially considering the subjective nature of the requirement and the often-hostile relations between Jews and Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

The practical ramification of the ruling is that it will allow the Civil Administration to order the eviction and evacuation of Jewish inhabitants from hundreds of thousands of dunams in Judea and Samaria.

Parliamentary Adviser to National Union MK Jacob Katz “Katzele” Jeremy Man Saltan told the Jewish Press that many nationalist MKs are concerned that “the Supreme Court is trying to change the meaning of the Ottoman Law itself (the old Ottoman Empire law from which the Israeli legal system has evolved), instead of asking the Israeli legislator to pass its own version.”

“The law is very clear,” Saltan added, “and people are really shocked that the Supreme Court has gone from changing Israeli laws that don’t meet their standards as they relate to Basic Laws, to changing the Ottoman laws outright.”

Asher Grunis Appointed Supreme Court President

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Judge Asher Grunis was appointed on Friday to be the Supreme Court’s new Chief Justice, replacing outgoing president Dorit Beinisch who retires this month. Grunis first became a judge in 1988, and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003.

The Knesset recently passed legislation called the “Grunis Law” which permitted Grunis to be named the Chief Justice. The law previously did not allow judges to become the court’s president if they were within 3 years of their 70th birthday. Grunis was born in 1945. The “Grunis Law” was introduced by Yaakov “Katzele” Katz of the National Union (Ichud Leumi) party.

Previously, the only chance Grunis had of being named president was if Beinisch would have retired a few months earlier.

Grunis specializes in civil and commercial law, and is not know for ‘judicial activism”, an issue that colored the tenures of his immediate predecessors Dorit Beinisch and Aharon Barak.

Supreme Court Pres. To Scuttle Appointee Deal

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Israeli Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch will allegedly renege on an agreement she made with members of the panel of nominating judges, and support Sephardic former-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to the court, rather than nationalist-leaning Jerusalem District Judge Noam Solberg.

Discussion of the upcoming appointment of a new justice has often centered around the political and ideological propensities of the candidates.  While the High Court is considered secular and liberal, the country’s citizens have been voting more nationalist and religious.

Beinisch has been criticized as a highly-politicized left-leaning judge.  Solberg, who has been favored as a potential shift away from anti-nationalism, is religious, and resides in the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shvut.  He had been nominated to take over for Mazuz has Attorney General in 2009, but was ultimately turned down.

Under the original deal, Jerusalem District Court Judge Tzvi Sylbertal, who is close to Beinisch, would be appointed to the court along with Solberg, and Tel Aviv District Court President Dvora Berliner would be appointed to the High Court of Justice.

Now, it appears Beinisch will stymie the deal, and delay the process by seeking to introduce new candidates, particularly Sephardic ones in light of the retirement of Judge Edmond Levy, the Court’s one Sephardic judge.  Beinisch is retiring in February, which makes this her last opportunity to influence the outcome of a new Supreme Court appointment.  Analysts suggest that Mazuz will be a difficult candidate to disregard – regardless of whether he is qualified – because he fulfills the implicit need to include a Sephardic Jew on the Court roster.

The law regarding selecting Supreme Court judges requires a 30-day waiting period after the submission of a candidate, to allow the public to voice objections.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/supreme-court-pres-to-scuttle-appointee-deal/2011/11/20/

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