Israel Names Four New Supreme Justices

The Judicial Appointments Committee named four new Supreme Court justices on Friday, following a tumultuous week of power struggles and controversy surrounding Israel’s court system.

The newly appointed justices are Jerusalem District Court Judge Noam Sohlberg, dean of Tel Aviv University’s law school Daphne Barak-Erez, Jerusalem District Court Deputy President Zvi Zylbertal, and Tel Aviv District Court Judge Uri Shoham.

All the new justices were voted in unanimously, with the exception of Sohlberg, who was backed by eight of the nine panel members. Shoham was picked to fill in the Supreme Court’s “Mizrahi” slot, in light of recently sounded criticism that the list of possible Supreme Court nominees did not include a judge from Israel’s North-African or Middle Eastern Jewish community.

Sohlberg and Zylbertal’s appointment is to take immediate effect; Shoham will join once current Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch retires at the end of next month, while Barak-Erez’s appointment will take effect with the exit of the Supreme Court’s Deputy President Eliezer Rivlin in May.

As a result of his relatively young age, Sohlberg, who will turn 50 later this month, is expected to be nominated as Supreme Court President in the distant future.

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