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NCJ Number: 204176 Find in a Library
Title: Temporary Appointments and Judicial Independence: Theoretical Analysis and Empirical Findings From the Supreme Court of Israel
Journal: Israel Law Review  Volume:35  Issue:2-3  Dated:Summer-Autumn 2001  Pages:481-523
Author(s): Eli M. Salzberger
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 43
Publisher: http://law.huji.ac.il/eng/pirsumim.asp?cat=735&in=0 
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Israel
Annotation: This study examined the decisionmaking patterns of the temporary judicial appointees in Israel to determine whether and in what way they may differ from the decisionmaking patterns of the tenured judges.
Abstract: The first section of this paper provides a comparative overview of the history and practice of temporary judicial appointments. It notes that the 1953 Judges Law empowered the Minister of Justice, after consultation with the President of the Supreme Court, to appoint judges from the district courts to the Supreme Court on a temporary basis for 1 year. This practice -- according to which one, two, and at times even three temporary appointees sit on the Supreme Court -- characterizes the history of the Israeli Supreme Court since its establishment in 1948. The second section of the paper reviews the theoretical debate about the positive analysis of judicial independence. This is followed by a description of the database used in the current study. The study's empirical findings are based on a database of approximately 50,000 cases handled by the Israeli Supreme Court between 1948 and 2000. Next, a report on the study's findings is presented and then compared with the findings of a similar study the author conducted on the Court of Appeal in England. The analysis of the decisionmaking patterns of temporary judicial appointees focused on the rate of allowing Court applications; the rate of reversal of lower courts' decisions; dissenting opinions; and the rate of decisions in which a separate "elaborate" individual opinion was written, in contrast to a mere concurrence or a collective judgment. Both the study of the English Court of Appeal and the Israeli Supreme Court found that expressions of substantive independence whose object was the government contributed to the chances of promotion to a tenured position, but expressions of independence in relationship to the other judges on the court, as measured by the rates of dissenting opinions and "elaborated" opinions, did not improve the chances for promotion. These findings suggest that the policy of appointment to temporary judgeships may compromise judicial independence due to the expected desire of the appointee to be promoted to a permanent judgeship. 7 tables and 57 notes
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Foreign courts; Israel; Judges; Judgeships; Judicial independence
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=204176

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