Basic Law: The Judiciary
Chapter One: Basic Provisions
| Judicial power
|| 1. (a) Judicial power is vested in the following
(1) the Supreme Court;
In this Law, "judge" means a judge of a court as
(2) a District Court;
(3) a Magistrate's Court;
(4) another court designated by Law as a court.
(b) Judicial power is vested also in the following:
(1) a religious court (beit din);
(c) No court or court (beit din) shall be established for a particular
(2) any other court (beit din):
(3) another authority all as prescribed by Law.
|| 2. A person vested with judicial power shall not, in judicial
matters, be subject to any authority but that of the Law.
| Publicity of proceedings
|| 3. A court shall sit in public unless otherwise provided by Law
or unless the court otherwise directs under Law.
Chapter Two: Judges
| Appointment of judges
|| 4. (a) A judge shall be appointed by the President
of the State upon election by a Judges' Election Committee.
(b) The Committee shall consist of nine members, namely, the
President of the Supreme Court, two other judges of the Supreme
Court elected by the body of judges thereof, the Minister of Justice
and another Minister designated by the Government, two members
of the Knesset elected by the Knesset and two representatives
of the Chamber of Advocates elected by the National Council of
the Chamber. The Minister of Justice shall be the chairman of
(c) The Committee may act even if the number of its members
has decreased, so long as it is not less than seven.
|| 5. Only an Israeli national shall be appointed judge.
| Declaration of allegiance
|| 6. A person appointed judge shall make a declaration of allegiance
before the President of the State. The declaration shall be as follows:
"I pledge myself to be in allegiance to the State
of Israel and to its laws, to dispense justice fairly, not to
pervert the law and to show no favour.".
| Period of tenure
|| 7. The tenure of a judge shall begin upon his declaration of
allegiance and shall end only -
(1) upon his retirement on pension; or
(2) upon his resignation; or
(3) upon his being elected or appointed to one of the positions
the holders of which are debarred from being candidates for
the Knesset; or
(4) upon a decision of the Judges' Election Committee prepared
by the chairman of the Committee or the President of the Supreme
Court and passed by a majority of at least seven members; or
(5) upon a decision of the Court of Discipline.
| Retired judge
|| 8. A judge who has retired on pension may be appointed to the
position of a judge for such time, in such manner and on such conditions
as may be prescribed by Law.
| Restriction on re-posting
|| 9. (a) A judge shall not be permanently transferred from the
locality where he is serving to a court in another locality save
with the consent of the President of the Supreme Court or pursuant
to a decision of the Court of Discipline.
(b) A judge shall not without his consent be appointed to an
acting position at a lower court.
| Salary and benefits
|| 10. (a) The salaries of judges and other payments to be made
to them during or after their period of tenure or to their survivors
after their death shall be prescribed by Law or by a decision of
the Knesset or of a Knesset committee empowered by the Knesset in
(b) No decision shall be passed reducing the salaries of judges
| Judge not to engage in additional occupation,
|| 11. A judge shall not engage in an additional occupation, and
shall not carry out any public function save with the consent of
the President of the Supreme Court and the Minister of Justice.
| Criminal proceedings
|| 12. (a) No criminal investigation shall be opened against a judge
save with the consent of the Attorney-General, and no information
shall be filed against a judge save by the Attorney-General.
(b) A criminal charge against a judge shall not be tried save
before a District Court consisting of three judges unless the
judge has consented that the charge be tried in the ordinary manner.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to categories
of offences designated by Law.
| Disciplinary proceedings
|| 13. (a) A judge shall be subject to the jurisdiction of a Court
(b) A Court of Discipline shall consist of judges and judges
retired on pension appointed by the President of the Supreme Court.
(c) Provisions as to the grounds for instituting disciplinary
proceedings, the modes of filing complaints, the composition of
the bench, the powers of the Court of Discipline and the disciplinary
measures it shall be authorised to impose shall be prescribed
by Law. The rules of procedure shall be in accordance with Law.
|| 14. Where a complaint or information is filed against a judge,
the President of the Supreme Court may suspend him from office for
such period as he may prescribe.
Chapter Three: The Courts
| Supreme Court
|| 15. (a) The seat of the Supreme Court is Jerusalem.
(b) The Supreme Court shall hear appeals against judgments and
other decisions of the District Courts.
(c) The Supreme Court shall sit also as a High Court of Justice.
When so sitting, it shall hear matters in which it deems it necessary
to grant relief for the sake of justice and which are not within
the jurisdiction of another court (beit mishpat or beit din).
(d) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of
subsection (c), the Supreme Court sitting as a High Court of Justice
shall be competent -
(1) to make orders for the release of persons unlawfully
detained or imprisoned.
(e) Other powers of the Supreme Court shall be prescribed by Law.
(2) to order State and local authorities and the officials
and bodies thereof, and other persons carrying out public functions
under law, to do or refrain from doing any act in the lawful
exercise of their functions or, if they were improperly elected
or appointed, to refrain from acting;
(3) to order courts (batei mishpat and batei din) and bodies
and persons having judicial or quasi-judicial powers under law,
other than courts dealt with by this Law and other than religious
courts (batei din), to hear, refrain from hearing, or continue
hearing a particular matter or to void a proceeding improperly
taken or a decision improperly given;
(4) to order religious courts (batei din) to hear a particular
matter within their jurisdiction or to refrain from hearing
or continue hearing a particular matter not within their jurisdiction,
provided that the court shall not entertain an application under
this paragraph is the applicant did not raise the question of
jurisdiction at the earliest opportunity; and if he had no measurable
opportunity to raise the question of jurisdiction until a decision
had been given by a religious court (beit din), the court may
quash a proceeding taken or a decision given by the religious
court (beit din) without authority.
| Other courts
|| 16. The establishment, powers, places of sitting and areas of
jurisdiction of the District Courts, the Magistrates' Courts and
other courts shall be in accordance with Law.
|| 17. A judgment of a court of first instance, other than a judgment
of the Supreme Court, shall be appealable as of right.
| Further hearing
|| 18. In a matter adjudged by the Supreme Court by a bench of three,
a further hearing may be held by a bench of five on such grounds
and in such manner as shall be prescribed by Law.
|| 19. In a criminal matter adjudged finally, a retrial may be held
on such grounds and in such manner as shall be prescribed by Law.
| Established rule
|| 20. (a) A rule laid down by a court shall guide any lower court.
(b) A rule laid down by the Supreme Court shall bind any court
other than the Supreme Court.
|| 21. A court may have a registrar, who may or may not be a judge.
Chapter Four: Miscellaneous Provisions
| Law not to be affected by emergency
|| 22. This Law cannot be varied, suspended, or made
subject to conditions by emergency regulations.
| Provisions to be prescribed by Law
|| 23. Provisions as to the following matters shall be prescribed
(1) the manner of electing, and duration of the tenure
of, the members of the Judges' Election Committee;
(2) qualifications for the posts of judges of the various
(3) the manner of appointing the President of the Supreme
Court, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court and the President
and Vice-president of a District Court and a Magistrate's Court;
(4) the conditions and procedures for terminating the tenure
of a judge;
(5) the manner of appointing a judge to an acting assignment
at another court and of transferring a judge, temporarily or
permanently, from the locality where he is serving to a court
in another locality;
(6) proceedings for the suspension of a judge from office,
and review of the suspension;
(7) the matters which the courts of the different grades are
to hear by a single judge or by three or more judges;
(8) the manner of designating the judge or judges who is or
are to hear a particular matter.
| Provisions to be prescribed under Law
|| 24. Provisions as to the following matters shall be prescribed
(1) rules as to the administration of the courts, the
making thereof and responsibility for their implementing;
(2) the rules of procedure of the Judges' Election Committee;
(3) procedure for the resignation of a judge;
(4) procedure for the appointment and the powers of the registrar
of a court;
(5) the number of judges who are to serve in the courts of
the different grades and location.
President of the State
* Passed by the Knesset on the 25th Adar Alef, 5744 (28th February, 1984)
and published in Sefer Ha-Chukkim No. II 10 of the 4th Adar Bet, 5744
(8th March, 1984), p. 78; the Bill and an Explanatory Note were published
in Hatza'ot Chok No. 1348 of 5748, p. 237.
** The Hebrew for "court" is beit mishpat
(plural: batei mishpat) or beit din (plural: batei din). In the translation
of this Law, "court" stands for beit mishpat unless the expression
beit din is added in brackets.
Laws of Israel