Live Broadcasts of the Proceedings of the Israeli Supreme Court

Live Broadcasts of the Proceedings of the Israeli Supreme Court

Avinoam Sharon
April 20, 2020

The Supreme Court of Israel has begun an experimental trial of live broadcasts of hearings before the Court via the Internet. The project was instituted on the basis of the recommendations of the Public Committee for Examining the Opening of the Israeli Courts to Electronic Media, chaired by Chief Justice (emerita) Dorit Beinisch. The purpose of the project is to employ modern technology to better realize the open-court principle.

In accordance with the Committee’s recommendations, the project will begin as a  limited, one-year trial for the purpose of examining, inter alia, “the effect of electronic coverage on the right to due process, the integrity of the judicial process, the rights of the parties to the process, the standing of the Court and public confidence in the Court” (p. 92 of the Committee’s Report).

At the initial stage, the broadcasts will be limited to select proceedings of particular public interest heard before the High Court of Justice or before an expanded bench of the Supreme Court. 

The first broadcast, on Thursday, April 16, 2020, was of the hearing on the merits of HCJ 2109/20 Ben Meir v. Prime Minister, concerning whether the Israel Security Service and Israel Police can collect and process cellphone location data of persons who have tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), as part of the national effort to limit the spread of the virus.

It is expected that approximately ten hearings will be broadcasted over the course of the first year of the project. The hearings will be broadcasted live on the Supreme Court website here