Friday, May 18, 2007

More On Israel's Rabbinic Court Appointments Dispute

Religion Clause has followed the recent controversy in Israel over the appointment of 15 rabbinic court judges (see prior postings 1, 2, 3). These courts have jurisdiction over various status and family law matters. The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday that the Dayanim Election Committee has formally decided to annul the original appointments and to start the selection process over. Meanwhile, in another article, the JP reported that Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann defended his role in the matter before the Knesset Law Committee. However he also suggested that there should be changes in the law that would allow women to become religious court judges. This could only be done by changing the requirement that only rabbis can serve. Friedmann also said he would like to see litigants in the courts have an option of choosing a civil law alternative to Jewish religious law to govern their disputes if they wish.