Jurisdiction Powers For Botei Din

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The government unveiled a new bill promoted by Shas and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, which, if passed, will grant botei din authority to adjudicate in monetary disputes, Haaretz reported.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that existing Israeli legislation does not provide the Rabbinate’s botei din with the power to judge or arbitrate in financial affairs and restricted their involvement to matters of Jewish identity and conversion, marriage and divorce (with its financial issues) and kashrus supervision. Ever since, anyone pursuing Torah mandated justice has had to turn to private botei din. State botei din used to adjudicate seven hundred financial disputes annually.

“It is appropriate that the state provide populations with special characteristics state-sanctioned tools to arbitrate disputes in a legally alternative manner that is acceptable to their communities, especially when the case in question is the law of the Torah, Jewish Law, the heritage of the Jewish people,” the new bill’s preamble explained. “This manner is in keeping with the basic right to unfettered access to adjudication, including in botei din and with the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

The bill specified that botei din would be limited to adjudicating cases where all sides agree to appear before them. It deprives botei din of the right to issue bans against people who fail to heed their summons. It notes that beis din decisions must not violate civil laws regarding the equality of women or people with disabilities.

A number of similar bills submitted since 2006 failed to pass, including the most recent such attempt of MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev of UTJ.

{Matzav.com Israel News}

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