Official results give big win to anti-overhaul Amit Becher in Bar Association vote

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Interim head of the Israel Bar Association Amit Becher casts his ballot for the chairmanship of the organization at a polling station in Tel Aviv, June 20, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Interim head of the Israel Bar Association Amit Becher casts his ballot for the chairmanship of the organization at a polling station in Tel Aviv, June 20, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Official results of the Israel Bar Association (IBA) elections held yesterday give Amit Becher, an ardent opponent of the government’s judicial overhaul program, a landslide victory over his chief rival Efi Nave.

Becher receives 73% of the vote against just 20% for Nave, with Arkady Eligulashvilli taking 4% and Doron Barziali 3%.

Becher’s party slate for the IBA’s National Council, Hope for the IBA, also scores a resounding victory, taking 16 of the 28 directly elected seats on the panel.

Nave’s One IBA list takes just two seats on the council, while the Initiative – Zionist Legalism list which stridently opposed Becher garners three seats, and the remaining seven seats are divided up between four other slates.

The results put Becher in a commanding position to determine which two IBA representatives will serve on the crucial Judicial Selection Committee which selects judges to all courts in Israel, including the Supreme Court.

Should he succeed in appointing representatives to the committee who hold his anti-reform position, it will thwart Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s goal of appointing ultra-conservative justices to the Supreme Court who would oppose judicial intervention in Knesset legislation and government decisions.

The results may however spur Levin’s drive to pass legislation to change the composition of the Judicial Selection Committee itself, in order to take control of judicial appointments.

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