In recent months, it has come to light that the Courts' Administration has been gathering an internal database, including details of Israeli citizens who have criticized judges and court employees on social media. In a Knesset hearing held last June, the legal adviser to the Courts Administration, Barak Lazer, admitted that the Courts Administration is implementing a procedure intended to remove offensive content from the web.
After learning about this database and procedure, Meshilut demanded that the Court Administration and the Chief Legal Advisor’s Office will shut down the database and will stop collecting information about Israeli citizens. On Wednesday, the Chief Legal Advisor's Office informed Meshilut’s legal advisor, Simcha Rothman, that his office has accepted the complaint, and it will freeze any use of the database until the conclusion of an investigation he will be leading. He stated that "information collected by the court administration will not be used and no further information will be recorded in this context."
Meshilut welcomes the Chief Legal Advisor's decision. Simcha Rothman, legal advisor to Meshilut, expressed his hope that the Justice Ministry team will soon reach its final conclusion that there is no room for such a database in any democratic country and that the courts should refrain from monitoring private citizens who criticize judges.
Attached is the letter received from the Chief Legal Advisor's Office.
The State of Israel
Ministry of Justices
Advisory and Legislation Department (Public-Constitution)
Jerusalem, December 31, 2018
Dear Simcha Rothman Adv.,
Courts Administration Work and Control Procedure for Dealing with Offensive Publications on the Internet
Re: Your letter to the Chief Legal Advisor from 12.5.18
Your letter to us from 12.25.18
Your letter to the Chief Legal Advisor from 12.25.18
In response to your letter from 12.25.18, I would like to inform you that with the approval of Deputy Chief Legal Advisor (Public-Constitution) Mr. Raz Nizri, and the relevant officials in the Courts Administration, until an investigation into the directions of the procedure discussed in my letter of December 25, 2018 is completed, there will be no use of the information collected by the Courts Administration and no further such information will be documented.
Assistant Deputy Chief Legal Advisor
Deputy Chief Legal Advisor (public constitution)
Senior Assistant to the Chief Legal Advisor
Director of Privacy Protection Authority
Legal Advisor to the Courts Administration