This morning (Wednesday) the Constitution Committee will convene under the initiative of MK Ariel Kallner and examine the conflict of interest applicable to the judges.
In his address before the discussion, Knesset member Kallner wrote that the request is raised following the exposure by journalist Kalman Liebskind, who stated that Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Amit is handling a series of cases in which there are significant economic interests for companies in which his brother and brother-in-law hold senior positions. Additionally, he pointed out that the President of the Supreme Court, Justice Hayut, is handling insurance companies' cases that her husband, attorney David Hayut, represents.
This morning, Knesset member Kallner was interviewed by the press and explained his position: "The idea of the committee is to sound the alarm of impropriety, to examine what has been done until now and what has not been done regarding conflicts of interest. Even in Jewish tradition, there are so many cautionary stories about appointing judges who will judge without bias and without personal involvement; a judge must be far from conflicts of interest." Knesset member Kallner adds emphatically: "If a public official were to do what Justice Amit did, he would spend a good few hours in the police station, and there would be a media festival, but when it comes to judges, everything is allowed for them."
To our question about what tools the committee has to change the situation, especially since even the law empowers the judge to decide whether they are disqualified or not, the Knesset member replied: "This is the problematic point, the fact that the judges decide for themselves, and they are essentially above any norm, there is no oversight, no brakes, and this has severe economic and social consequences."
In conclusion, the Knesset member summarized the committee's goal: "I come to today's discussion with an open heart, to hear what can be proposed to rectify the situation. We don't rule out legislative amendments or an external body that will examine conflicts of interest with judges. We want to increase trust in the judicial system and provide a meaningful solution to the current situation."