The Knesset recently passed the first reading of a bill that would anchor the right of botei din to arbitrate in civil lawsuits. It will pass to the Knesset Legislative Committee before its final Knesset readings.
Submitted by MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev of UTJ, the bill points out that botei din already have the legislative right to adjudicate in civil lawsuits that arise from divorce or matters relating to a person’s personal status and that botei din already arbitrate in civil lawsuits when both parties agree to this. The new bill’s sole purpose is to conform to a 2006 High Court ruling suggesting that rabbinical arbitration of civil suits be anchored in law.
MK Elazar Stern of Yesh Atid objected to the new bill.
“If you’re in favor of a pluralistic approach that enables access to any court the sides choose, then you should allow couples to get divorced in a civil court if they don’t want to do so in a rabbinical court,” he argued in the Knesset plenum.