President Shimon Peres to the new judges:
"An independent and impartial judicial system is a prerequisite for an enlightened democratic society"
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, delivered remarks this morning at a swearing-in ceremony for eleven new judges to the Magistrates Courts, one to the Transportation Court and one senior registrar. The ceremony was also attended by the President of the Supreme Court, Asher Grunis, and the Justice Minister, Yaakov Neeman.
At the beginning of his remarks President Peres addressed the importance of an impartial and independent judiciary and said: "An independent and impartial judicial system is a prerequisite for an enlightened democratic society." President Peres continued and said, "The Justice system should deliver verdicts based on justice and law, and not based on public relations. The judiciary must act as accurate and perfectly calibrated scales at any time. Black and white often creates shades of grey in reality, and it is with this complex reality that the justice system must deal with discretion. Judgment must be lofty, pursuit of peace and truth were always meant to go hand in hand.
The Justice Minister, Yaakov Neeman, delivered remarks at the end of his current tenure and said, "Since the establishment of the current government 237 judges have been appointed including 176 new judges who have joined the justice system. In comparison the previous decade saw only 266 judges appointed. The lack of judges directly affected the work of the justice system by increasing the workload on the courts and causing delays of justice."
The President of the Supreme Court, Asher Grunis, congratulated the new judges and said, "Always remember that in most cases, the interaction of those involved in the case with you as judges of the Magistrates Courts, will be their only encounter with the justice system. The manner in which you conduct the cases, examine the cases, understand the case, look at the questions under dispute and write the verdict, will affect the trust of the public in the justice system and impact upon our legitimacy." He went on to address the upcoming elections and said, "We are in the midst of an election, next week the citizens of Israel will have the opportunity to undertake one of the core rights of a democracy – the right to vote. This is an opportunity to affect the nature of the state, as a citizen and as President of the Supreme Court, I wish us all a free and fair elections which will be a celebration of democracy."
President Peres turned to the new judges at the end of the ceremony and said, "Today we place upon you a heavy burden and a unique responsibility. We have faith in the abilities you have acquired, your wisdom and your verdicts. These will accompany you in the special path you have chosen and for which you have been chosen."