Dorit Beinisch bigraphy, stories - Judges

Dorit Beinisch : biography

February 28, 1942 -

Dorit Beinisch () (born February 28, 1942) was the 9th president of the Supreme Court of Israel. Appointed on September 14, 2006, after the retirement of Aharon Barak, she served in this position until February 28, 2012. She was the first woman to serve as president of the Israeli Supreme Court.

Landmark rulings

Beinisch has focused on government corruption and to ensuring that government institutions adhere to the law, with a particular emphasis placed on the Defence Forces, the police and general security services.

In 2004 Beinisch criticized the use of expedited legislative mechanisms, often used by the Knesset to legislate various economic laws and reforms. She ruled that although judicial review of the legislative process in Israeli does not recognize a ground of lack of “legislative due process,” the Court would intervene if there is a defect in the legislative process that “goes to the heart of the process.” Such a defect is one that involves a severe and substantial violation of the basic principles of the legislative process in Israel’s parliamentary and constitutional system.

In a 2006 case concerning a detainee’s right to legal counsel, the Supreme Court acquitted a soldier convicted of using drugs on the basis of his own confession, because the military policeman who interrogated him did not inform him of his right to consult with an attorney. In this ground-breaking decision, Beinisch ruled that in view of the normative change in the Israeli legal system introduced by the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, and in the absence of legislation on this issue, the time has come to adopt a case law doctrine of inadmissibility for illegally obtained evidence. She also held that the appropriate doctrine for the Israeli legal system to adopt is not an absolute one, but a relative doctrine which allows the court to exclude illegally obtained evidence at its discretion. In the specific case of the appellant, the failure to inform him of his right to consult a lawyer was intentional, and this was a significant factor in Beinisch’s decision to exclude the confessions he made in the interrogation.

The same year, in one of her most famous and controversial rulings as a justice, she ruled that parents cannot use corporal punishment, writing that corporal punishment violates the child's right to dignity and bodily integrity.

In a judgment rendered in September 2007 concerning the separation fence being built by Israel, Beinisch ruled that the military commander did not exercise his discretion in a proportionate manner and that he must alter the route of the fence in regards to a segment near the Palestinian village of Bil'in. In her judgment, Beinisch accepted the military commander’s claim that the fence in Bil’in area was built for reasons of national security. Nevertheless, she held that the military commander had determined the route of the fence while taking into account the future construction plans for new Israeli neighborhoods near this area. These planned neighborhoods do not constitute a vital security need, and hence cannot be taken into account when determining the route of the fence. Considering all that, Beinisch concluded that the route of the fence in the Bil’in area did not meet the proportionality requirement.

In 2007, a petition was brought before the Supreme Court regarding the government’s decision to protect the schools in Israeli cities from attacks by “Qassam” rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. In light of this decision, the authorities adopted a protection plan under which only some of the classrooms were protected. Beinisch ruled that the decision not to fully protect the main classrooms of children in grades 4-12 was extremely unreasonable. It was held that the court would intervene — albeit on rare occasions and with restraint — even in decisions concerning the professional discretion of the authority or the budgets allocated by it, if these decisions depart in an extreme manner from the margin of reasonableness given to the administrative authority. Beinisch emphasized that it would be self-evident that the court would be called upon to intervene to a greater degree where it concerns decisions that may affect human rights in general, and risks presented to human life in particular.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine