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Dorit Beinisch

(1942 - )

Dorit Beinisch is an Israeli lawyer and judge who served on the Israeli Supreme Court and was the first woman to hold the role of President of the Supreme Court.

Beinisch (born February 28, 1942) was born in Tel Aviv in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine.

In 1961, Beinisch began her compulsory service in the Israeli Defense Force and she eventually reached the rank of lieutenant.

In 1967, she received a Bachelor of Laws degree from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and she began her professional career following admittance to the Israeli Bar the same year. Beinisch apprenticed with the Jerusalem district attorney and in 1969 she completed her Master of Laws degree from Hebrew University.

From 1976-82, she directed the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law in the state attorney's office where she represented the state before the Supreme Court in constitutional and administrative cases. From 1982 to 1988, she served as Assistant Attorney General and in 1989 she was appointed Attorney General. During this period she served as head of the General Prosecution department and was responsible for representing the State of Israel in the various law courts, as well as providing legal advice to the state authorities. From 1989-1995, she served as state attorney and as deputy state attorney before that. As state attorney, she headed government litigation in the magistrate, district and appellate courts. She also served as official legal advisor to government departments and agencies.

In December 1995,  Beinisch was appointed to the Supreme Court.

On September 7, 2006, upon the retirement of Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, Beinisch was appointed President of the Supreme Court - the first female to ever hold that position.

On January 27, 2010, Beinisch was injured when a 52-year-old man named Pinchas Cohen hurled his sneaker at her during a hearing on medical marijuana, hitting her between the eyes, breaking her glasses and knocking her off her chair. Cohen was disgruntled with the legal system over a family court decision four years earlier. He was arrested and later apologized for his actions.

On February 28, 2012, Beinisch was officially replaced in her role by Justice Asher Dan Grunis.

In her various public service positions, she gave special attention to government corruption and to ensuring that government institutions adhere to the law, with a particular emphasis placed on the IDF, the police and general security services. Standing out among her opinions as a Supreme Court justice are a decision holding that parents cannot use corporal punishment as well as other decisions stressing the importance of women's and children's rights.

She is married to Yechezkel and has two daughters, Daniella and Michal.

Sources: Wikipedia.
Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Photo: The judiciary of Israel, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.