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Israel Bar Association

General Information




The Legal Basis

Pursuant to the Chamber of Advocates Law, 5721-1961, the Israel Bar was established in 1961 as an autonomous entity, whose leadership is elected by the country's advocates, in order to incorporate the advocates in Israel and supervise the standards and ethics of the profession of advocacy.

The Bar is a body corporate which has its seat in Jerusalem and is subject to inspection by the State Comptroller.

Israel's statutory Bar was not born overnight. The issue was the subject of public discussion for 12 years from the time of the State's establishment. In 1961, after dozens of debates by the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset, which went on for two years, the Israeli legislature considered it appropriate to follow the British tradition and transfer the management of the profession of advocacy to an autonomous institution elected by Israel's advocates and it thereby altered the situation which had existed until the State's establishment, whereby the Advocates Association had operated voluntarily, alongside a Council appointed by the Mandatory Government.

The main reasons for the change were:

1.     Recognition of the importance of the profession of advocacy in a democratic State, which was absorbing immigration and building legal infrastructures, in which the advocate was required to represent and defend the rights of the citizen against the authorities and express his views on matters of public importance. This recognition was expressed in a statement by the then Minister of Justice, Pinchas Rosen, when he termed the profession of advocacy: "the third arm of law and justice", after the legislature and judiciary.

  1. Recognition of the fact that, in a State with a legal, security and economic philosophy in which the Government, for clear reasons, always has power to enact emergency legislation which might at any moment limit individual rights and modify any statute, the independence of "the third arm" - the Israel Bar - is of importance in order to stand guard and protect the individual.
  2. Recognition of the need to allow advocates generally to participate in the management of the profession by participating in national and district, general elections by secret ballot for the appointment of the profession's representatives and to enable thousands of advocates to participate in the various committees. This was, inter alia, after it had become apparent during the 1950s that the composition of the Council had brought about a serious crisis between the Advocates Association and the Ministry of Justice, which was temporarily resolved through the intermediacy of the then Attorney-General, Haim Cohen.
  3. The experience gathered since 1938, when the Advocates Ordinance and the Legal Council Ordinance were enacted, showed that the existence of the voluntary Advocates Association, on the one hand and the appointed Legal Council on the other hand, was flawed. The legislature saw fit to alter this situation by enacting the Chamber of Advocates Law, 5721-1961, with the object of dispensing with the duplication of two entities engaged in the same matters and dealing with the same people, one being conscious of the matters and active in them and the other convening merely to perform its duty of making formal decisions.
  4. Recognition of the need to create a balance between the authorities, by severing the profession's management from Government - advocates to manage the profession, with inspection and control being placed in the hands of the Attorney-General (and the State Attorney) in disciplinary matters, and in the hands of the Minister of Justice in other matters, through the power to approve the Bar's Rules, the Bar being subject to inspection by the State Comptroller.
  5. Integration within the independent Bar of the legal advisers working in public service, thereby reinforcing the general, public character of the Bar.

The Bar's Functions

1. The registration, supervision and examination of trainee advocates.

2. The qualification of new advocates.

3. The exercise of disciplinary jurisdiction over advocates and trainees.

In addition, the Bar may inter alia:

1. Express its opinion on Draft Laws concerning the law courts and legal procedure;

2. Provide legal aid to persons of limited means;

3. Act as arbitrator and appoint arbitrators;

4. Protect the professional interests of its members;

5. Establish insurance and pension funds and other mutual aid institutions for its members;

6. Initiate and participate in activities and projects concerned with research into law generally and Jewish law in particular;

7. Publish legal literature.

The Bar's Organs

The Bar operates through the following organs: the President, the National Council, the Central Committee, the District Committees (in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beersheva), the National Court of Discipline, the District Courts of Discipline and the Bar Auditor.

The President

The President of the Bar heads the Central Committee. The President is elected once every four years by all the Bar's members, namely all Israel's advocates, in general, direct and country-wide elections, by secret ballot, on the basis of equal suffrage and proportional representation.

The National Council

The Council is the Bar's legislative arm and deals with proposals for the modification and amendment of the Chamber of Advocates Law and the rules made pursuant thereto, which are referred to the Minister of Justice for approval.

The Council's functions:

1. To elect the members of the Central Committee and the Bar's representatives on various statutory committees;

2. To make rules concerning the Bar's organization and activities;

3. To fix membership subscriptions and fees;

4. To determine the Bar's budget.

The National Council's members are:

The President of the Bar and his predecessor;

The Director-General of the Ministry of Justice.

The State Attorney;

The Military Advocate General;

25 members, who are elected by the members of the profession in general, direct and country-wide elections, by secret ballot, on the basis of equal suffrage and proportional representation;

Three members from each District, being the Chairmen of the District Committees and two members of the Bar from each District, elected by the District Committee in secret ballot.

The Central Committee

The Central Committee serves as the Bar's executive organ and actually manages its affairs.

15 members serve on the Central Committee, which is headed by the Bar President. The members are elected as follows: 10 are elected by secret ballot on the basis of equal suffrage and proportional representation from among the 30 members of the National Council who are entitled to vote. In addition there is a representative from each District, who is elected as follows: the three representatives of each District on the National Council elect one of their number to the Central Committee.

Alongside the Central Committee, some 96 professional sub-committees operate, on which more than 2,500 advocates are active. The sub-committees' recommendations are referred to the Central Committee for debate and approval.


The members of the Bar, being all the advocates in Israel, elect the President of the Bar once every four years in general, direct and country-wide elections, by secret ballot, on the basis of equal suffrage and on the principle of proportional representation. They also elect the majority of the Council members, the Chairman of their District Committee and the members of the District Committee.


A person is qualified to be an advocate if he fulfils the following:

1. He has a higher legal education or has duly completed a course of studies at a college of law recognised pursuant to the Chamber of Advocates Law; or is a graduate of an overseas law course at a duly recognised institution or is qualified to practice law overseas on the conditions prescribed in the Law;

2. He has undergone a period of training;

3. He has passed the Bar examinations.

Acts Reserved To The Profession

Subject to the provisos set out in section 21 of the Chamber of AdvocatesLaw, the undermentioned acts cannot be done by way of business or for consideration even if not by way of business, except by an advocate:

1. the representation of, or any pleading or other act on behalf of, another person before any court, tribunal or arbitrator or before any person or body having judicial or quasi-judicial authority;

2. the representation of, and any other act on behalf of, another person before -

The Execution Office;

The Land Registration Office;

The Competent Officer, within the meaning of the Cooperative Houses Law, 5713-1952;

The Registrar of Companies;

The Registrar of Partnerships;

The Registrar of Cooperative Societies;

The Registrar of Patents and Designs;

The Registrar of Trademarks;

The Assessing Officer, and the Income Tax Commissioner, within the meaning of the Income Tax Ordinance;

The Director, within the meaning of the Land Appreciation Tax Law, 5709-1949;

The Director of Estate Duty, within the meaning of the Estate Duty Law, 5709-1949;

3. The drawing up for another person of documents of a legal character, including the representation of another person in a legal proceeding preliminary to the drawing up of such a document;

4. The giving of legal advice or a legal opinion.


Disciplinary Jurisdiction

For a disciplinary offence, even if committed abroad, the offending advocate is to be tried by the District Court of Discipline of the District in which his place of work is situated. If he is convicted, he is liable to penalties, the gravest of which is expulsion from the Bar. A judgement of a District Court of Discipline may be appealed against to the National Court of Discipline by the accused, the complainant, the Central Committee or the Attorney-General. The same persons may appeal to the Supreme Court against the National Court of Discipline's judgment.

The Bar's disciplinary jurisdiction also extends over trainee advocates.

The Bar's Budget

The Bar's budget is financed by its income from annual membership subscriptions and fees, which are imposed by virtue of the Law and vary depending on the years' standing and age of the member.

The budget is referred to the National Council for approval each year and all income and expenditure are under the supervision of the Finance Committee of the Council.

The Bar's Auditor

By virtue of the Chamber of Advocates Law, the National Council elects an Internal Auditor for a term of five years by secret ballot.

Period Of Internship

The period of internship, which a trainee advocate must undergo, is currently fixed by the Law at 12 months. On completion, the trainee advocate undergoes both written and oral examination.

Trainee Advocate Examinations

The first stage - written examinations.

1. A trainee advocate who meets the provisions of sections 26 and 38 of the Chamber of Advocates Law may sit the trainee advocate examinations.

2. The first part of the written examination consists of a multiple choice questionnaire, consisting of 100 or more questions in the scope of the matters detailed in section 18 of the Chamber of Advocates (Practical Examinations) (Amendment) Regulations, 5755-1994.

The second part of the written examination, the practical part, requires reference to a particular issue in order to examine the candidate's powers of legal analysis and drafting.

3. The examination takes six hours. Three and a half hours are allotted for the multiple-choice questionnaire, which is followed by a one-hour break and then an hour and a half is allowed for the practical part. Candidates are not allowed to bring written materials to the examination. Candidates who are new immigrants can use a dictionary and they are also entitled to apply to the invigilator for an extension of time.

4. The written answers to the practical part are passed to the examiners who conduct the oral examinations for them to gain an impression of the candidate's powers of analysis and language, both in writing and orally.

The second stage - oral examinations.

Candidates who have passed the multiple-choice examination are entitled to take the oral examination. The examination is on the matters detailed in Regulation 18 and new precedents and legislation in the areas in which the candidate has undergone internship. The examiners formulate their decision on the basis of an overall impression of the candidate and his suitability for the profession and on the basis of his powers of analysis and language, both in writing and orally. At this stage of the examination, grading is limited solely to "pass" or "fail".

Related Entities

  1. For the benefit of its members the Bar has established a publishing house which currently operates as a company and publishes judgments, the journal "Hapraklit" and CDs of case law and it also administers the Bar's web site.
  2. The Bar has also established an Institute for Continuing Legal Studies for Advocates, which operates as a non-profit society.
  3. A pension fund, which is not open to new members by virtue of a Government decision.
  4. The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists was established in 1969 at the initiative of members who were led by the Bar, in recognition of the importance of collaboration between Israeli lawyers and their Jewish counterparts elsewhere in the world.





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