Basic Law: The Judiciary
Chapter One: Basic Provisions
Chapter Two: Judges
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
(b) Judicial power is vested also in the
(1) a religious court (beit din);
(c) No court or court (beit din) shall be
established for a particular case.
(2) any other court (beit din):
(3) another authority all as prescribed by
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
Chapter Three: The Courts
Appointment of judges
4. (a) A judge shall be appointed by the President
of the State upon election by a Judges' Election
(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 the Committee.
(c) The Committee may act even if the number of
its members has decreased, so long as it is not less
5. Only an Israeli national shall be appointed
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
(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
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 only.
Judge not to engage in additional occupation, etc.
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.
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.
13. (a) A judge shall be subject to the jurisdiction
of a Court of Discipline.
(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
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
(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.
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.
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.
20. (a) A rule laid down by a court shall guide any
(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 regulations
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 by Law:
(1) the manner of electing, and duration of the
tenure of, the members of the Judges' Election
(2) qualifications for the posts of judges of the
(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
(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
(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 under Law:
(1) rules as to the administration of the courts,
the making thereof and responsibility for their
(2) the rules of procedure of the Judges'
(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.
** 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.