President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Tuesday 8 January / 2 Shevat, spoke at a swearing-in ceremony for judges at Beit HaNasi. 29 judges and senior registrars swore an oath before the president: eight District Court judges, one judge of the Regional Labor Court, 15 Magistrates’ Court judges and five senior registrars.
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, President of the Supreme Court Esther Hayut and President of the National Labour Court Varda Virt Livne also spoke at the event.
In his remarks, the president referred to the criticism directed at the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) in recent days, saying: “the judiciary and the security organizations of the State of Israel are a fence, a dam for us. The ISA is under fire at the moment. There can be no democracy without criticism. Criticism, even of our most important agencies – and first and foremost judicial oversight, as we have seen in the past few days, is the best disinfectant and a fundamental requirement. But we must take care to avoid irresponsible attacks on those whose job it is to protect and defend Israel’s security from domestic and foreign threats. The ISA is responsible for protecting the security of Israeli citizens, by law. I know the people of the ISA and I know that the security of the State of Israel and its citizens is the only thing that guides them. That is how they act, under the professional and inspiring leadership of Nadav Argaman and his predecessors. From here, I want to express my support for those who serve in all security forces, and particularly the men and women of the ISA. They save lives day and night, and because of their service we and our children can sleep peacefully.”
Speaking to the newly appointed judges, the president said “as opposed to the voter, judges must not adopt a personality that will predjudice his or her positions. Sitting in judgement demands constant awareness of those brought before you, the circumstances of the case, and particularly line that separates the judge’s identity as a private individual and as a judicial authority. So that justice is blind, the judge must disconnect from public discourse about left, right and center, conservative and progressive. Today, perhaps more than ever, the judiciary is under public scrutiny in Israel. This is a generation that judges its own judges. Every one of you who joins the bench today will be identified from now on with the judiciary and part of the image it projects.”
Attached photo credits: Mark Neiman (GPO)