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ISRAEL: Large-scale Fraud in the Supreme Court's Office of the Clerk

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Presiding Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court Asher Grunis
Presiding Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court Asher Grunis
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Occupy Tel-Aviv, January 2 - Israeli Supreme Court Presiding Justice Asher Grunis has been again requested to present the appointment letter of  Attorney Danny Ben-Tovim as "Head of Pro Se Section" in the Office of the Clerk of the Court. [1]  The original request was forwarded to Presiding Justice Grunis on December 11, 2013, but no response was received so far.

The original request noted that Attorney Ben-Tovim acted as holding the authority of a Clerk, or even a Magistrate of the Supreme Court -- accepting and rejecting the filing of papers in the Supreme Court from unrepresented persons -- typically, individuals of lesser means, coming to the Supreme Court to protect their fundamental rights against abuse by the authorities.

Attorney Ben Tovim was also contacted by phone and in writing, but refused to explain the nature of his appointment.

There is more than reasonable basis to believe that Attorney Ben Tovim acts with no authority at all. Moreover, the evidence shows that in such conduct Attorney Ben Tovim abuses the rights of access to justice, fair trial, and equal protection under the law -- fundamental Human Rights.

Presiding Justice Grunis did respond on two previous requests for the appointment records of individuals, who acted as clerks:

* Request for the appointment record of then "Chief Clerk" Sarah Lifschitz:

Presiding Justice Grunis failed to present her appointment record. His response instead noted that "Ms Sarah Lifschitz, Chief Clerk of the Supreme Court, was appointed, pursuant to prevailing rules in the State Civil Service, relative to people of such rank." Such response was used as part of the evidence in a criminal fraud complaint, filed with the Israel Police against Presiding Justice Grunis. [2]

* Request for the appointment record of "Clerk" of the sitting Supreme Court Ms Aluma Zernik:

Presiding Justice Grunis failed to produce her appointment record either.  Instead, his response explained that Ms Zernik was his law intern, and law interns of the justices acted as "Clerks" of the sitting court by rotation... [3]

It should be noted that "Chief Clerk" Sarah Lifschitz "departed" from the Supreme Court on October 31, 2013, a couple of weeks after the filing of the criminal fraud complaint against Presiding Justice Grunis in this matter. Consequently, Presiding Justice Grunis refuses to disclose, who today holds the authorities of Chief Clerk of the Supreme Court. [4] 

In Israel, as in other nations, where the courts originated in the English common law, the chief clerks hold duties and obligations for the safeguard of the integrity of court records. As noted in a historic review, published by the US Federal Judicial Center, corruption of the courts is often centered in the offices of the clerks.  [5] Historically, effective reform efforts of corruption of the US courts in the early 20th century were centered on reform of the offices of the clerks as well. 

The evidence is mounting of unprecedented corruption of the Israeli Supreme Court, which started under the tenure of Presiding Justice Ahraon Barak (1995-2006), and which is characterized by the operation of sham office of the clerk:  Ms Sarah Lifschitz fraudulently appeared as "Chief Clerk" for over ten years (2002-2013). During these years, numerous Supreme Court decision records were forged, and falsification of Supreme Court records and conduct of simulated/fake Supreme Court proceedings has become a routine, as documented in the Human Rights Alert (NGO) submission to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. The Human Rights Alert submission was incorporated into the 2013 Human Rights Report of the the United Nations on Israel, with the note "Lack of integrity in the electronic records of the Supreme Court... in Israel." [6]

A court, which operates with no lawful office of the clerk, is an incompetent court.

Corruption of the justice system in Israel -- from the Enforcement Authority (a medieval-style debtors' court system) to the Supreme Court -- is central to the current socio-economic crisis in Israel.

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Dr Zernik's core research pertains to e-government and its significance for Human Rights and Civil Society.

His work won appreciation in Israel and abroad: * Prof Uzzi Ornan - "All power to you! I hope that you see your tremendous efforts (more...)
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