Article Israel: Pilot for Live Broadcast of Lower Courts' Decisions Launched by Judiciary

A new directive issued by Supreme Court President Esther Hayut on January 1, 2022, establishes a pilot program for live broadcasts of the reading of selected judgments during 2022. Under the pilot program, 18 readings of judgments and decisions by magistrate and district courts (lower courts), three from each of the six judicial districts, would be broadcast, subject to the consent of the relevant parties.

The selection of cases for live broadcasts will be made by presidents of the lower courts, in consultation with the relevant adjudicating bench and in cooperation with the spokesperson of the judiciary. According to the directive,

[t]he main criterion for reading a judgment in a live broadcast is the expectation of the existence of a public interest in the procedure. In addition, other considerations will be examined, including: the nature and essence of the procedure; [and] the implications of live broadcasting on the rights of litigants and other parties, such as the right to privacy and the right to a good name. (Directive § 6.)

The live reading of lower court decisions would be transmitted via the Judicial Authority’s website, which has been running a limited pilot project for the live broadcast of selected Supreme Court hearings since 2020.

Hayut proposed the pilot on the basis of recommendations issued to her in July 2021 by a team appointed by the Director of the Court’s Office. The recommendations concerned reexamining aspects of public hearings in the light of technological developments and restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The team examined, among other things, the issue of using technological means to replace physical presence, and concluded that “the principle of publicity of hearings in the broadest sense implies to us that there is a need for broader accessibility of the public to legal proceedings.”

The principle of the “publicity of proceedings” is recognized under section 3 of the Basic Law: the Judiciary, which provides that “[a] court shall sit in public unless otherwise provided by Law or unless the court otherwise directs under Law.”

According to Hayut, the live broadcast pilots, along with ongoing projects for digitalizing and publishing abstracts of judgments in accessible language, reflect the commitment of the Israeli judiciary to providing an efficient, accessible, and transparent service to the public.

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Chicago citation style:

Levush, Ruth. Israel: Pilot for Live Broadcast of Lower Courts' Decisions Launched by Judiciary. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-01-20/israel-pilot-for-live-broadcast-of-lower-courts-decisions-launched-by-judiciary/.

APA citation style:

Levush, R. (2022) Israel: Pilot for Live Broadcast of Lower Courts' Decisions Launched by Judiciary. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-01-20/israel-pilot-for-live-broadcast-of-lower-courts-decisions-launched-by-judiciary/.

MLA citation style:

Levush, Ruth. Israel: Pilot for Live Broadcast of Lower Courts' Decisions Launched by Judiciary. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-01-20/israel-pilot-for-live-broadcast-of-lower-courts-decisions-launched-by-judiciary/>.