The recent Emmanuel litigation revealed a major flaw in Israel’s judicial system. In most suits against governmental authorities, the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice (BaGaTZ), is a court of original jurisdiction. Yet the petitions to BaGaTZ often turn on complex factual issues, which the Supreme Court is unequipped to weigh or evaluate. The Supreme Court is not a trial court, and has no means at its disposal to examine witnesses or properly evaluate evidence.
In the Emmanuel case, for instance, the result hinged in large part on the intention of the defendants in setting up a special chassidic track within the Bais Yaakov.
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