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Selecting Judges to Constitutional Courts – a Comparative Study

What is the appropriate method for selecting Supreme Court justices? That question is one that drives a considerable amount of the public discourse in Israel. Ever since the enactment of the Basic Law: the Judiciary in 1984, no fewer than 67 bills dealing with the method by which judges are selected have been brought to the Knesset table in efforts to amend it. During the course of the 20th Knesset alone, 12 bills were put forth to change the method of selection as well as the length of the tenure of the associate and chief justices of Israel’s Supreme Court.

According to various reports, the judicial selection method was at the heart of the coalition negotiations for establishing the 35th Israeli government in May 2019, during the course of which various initiatives were discussed regarding fundamental change. However, the negotiations failed (for other reasons), and for the first time in its history, Israel recently held repeat elections. Nonetheless, one can assume that the issue of how Supreme Court justices are selected will continue to animate the public and political discourse in Israel in the future as well.

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