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Israel Bar Association

The Israel Bar - Profile and Objectives

30.03.2003

|  Rosen Nurit

The Bar is active in all spheres of the profession and interacts with the following entities:The Courts; The Knesset; The Public Legal Interns; The Bar’s Members..

THE ISRAEL BAR - PROFILE & OBJECTIVES

2003

The Israel Bar was established in 1961 as an autonomous entity, whose main organs are elected democratically by the members of the profession, pursuant to the Chamber of Advocates Law, 5721-1961, in order to incorporate Israels advocates and watch over the standards and ethics of the profession.

Approx. 28,000 advocates are currently practising law in Israel.

THE BAR'S FUNCTIONS

The Bars functions are defined in the Chamber of Advocates Law: to register, supervise and examine legal interns; to qualify new advocates; and to exercise disciplinary jurisdiction over advocates and legal interns.

THE BAR'S ORGANS

The Israel Bar is headed by the Bar President, who is also the Chairman of the Central Committee.

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

The Bar President

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

The National Council

The National Council is the Bars legislative arm and deals with proposals for 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 Councils functions are to elect the members of the Central Committee and the Bars representatives on various statutory committees; to make rules concerning the Bars organisation and activities; to fix membership subscriptions and fees; and to determine the Bars budget.

The Central Committee

The Central Committee is the Bars executive organ and actually manages its affairs. The Central Committee comprises 17 members. Scores of professional sub-committees operate alongside the Central Committee and thousands of advocates are active on them, on a voluntary basis, who represent the most prominent point of contact between the Bar's elected representatives and ordinary advocates.

Disciplinary Jurisdiction

The Disciplinary Jurisdiction object is to maintain professional standards and protect the public's confidence in the profession. The Bar has disciplinary courts operating in various districts, and a national court of discipline that serves as an appeals instance. An advocate convicted of a disciplinary offence, even if committed abroad, is liable to penalties, the most serious of which is disbarment. The Bars disciplinary jurisdiction also extends to legal interns.

The Bar's Comptroller

The Bar's Comptroller is elected by the National Council, by secret ballot, for a term of five years.

Related Entities

The Bar has a number of entities operating on its behalf:

The Publishing House: For the benefit of its members, the Bar has established a publishing house, which currently operates as a company and publishes CDs of case law, the journal "Hapraklit", the advocates' diary and professional literature.

The Institute for Continuing Legal Studies: The Bar, together with Tel Aviv University, has established an institute for continuing legal studies for advocates which operates as a non-profit society.

The Pension Fund: The fund has approx. 3,072 members. By virtue of a Government decision, the fund is not open to new members. Efforts have recently been made to establish a new fund.

The Bar supports The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists which was established in 1969 on the initiative of members led by the Bar, in recognition of the importance of collaboration between Israeli lawyers and their Jewish counterparts elsewhere in the world.

THE BAR'S BUDGET

The Bar its not dependent on any entity for its budget.

The Bar's budget is financed by its income from annual membership fees charged by virtue of the Law, the amounts whereof vary depending on the member's professional seniority and age. The training of advocates is financed by fees charged by virtue of the Law.

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

THE BAR'S ACTIVITY

The Bar is active in all spheres of the profession and interacts with the following entities:

The Courts: The Bar conducts substantive and routine dialogue with the Courts Directorate and holds many meetings with judges and advocates to clarify common subjects.

The Bar and the Supreme Court have a joint team that clarifies matters pertaining to Supreme Court proceedings. The Bar is involved in all the courts' activities, such as formulating civil procedure rules, planning the courts future computer system and planning new courts.

The Bar recently commenced a professional dialogue with the Rabbinical Courts.

The Bar plays a central role in the process of electing judges and in strengthening the courts' status.

One of the Bar's most important activities with the courts is to provide feedback on the functioning of the judges, in all the instances throughout Israel.

The Knesset: The Bar's representatives assist the Knesset Committees in all the legislative initiatives by assisting and reviewing new legislation; the Bar expresses positions and attends to a wide range of legal matters: consumerism and human rights, restrictive trade practices, violence in the family, contracts, tort, the penal law and real estate.

The Public: The Israel Bar takes clear stands on the basic principles of the law, protection of the rule of law and basic rights.

The Bar strongly opposes any intention of impairment to the Supreme Court.

The Bar operates a detention facilities supervision team.

The Bar is involved in a project for the war against violence in Israeli society and to reduce violence in schools.

In 2002 a "pro bono" plan was launched, which provides legal assistance on a volunteer basis to needy persons meeting the determined criteria.

Legal Interns: Notwithstanding the trend of a slight decline, more than 2,500 legal interns are registering each year.

In 2002 the results of the written examination were notified for the first time by SMS to every legal intern who had agreed thereto in advance, as part of an up-to-the-minute and advanced service provided to legal interns.

The admission ceremony has been redesigned. The Bar welcomes its new members in a dignified and festive ceremony.

The Bar's Members: The Bar places great emphasis on protecting the legal profession, both through legal proceedings and through a radio media campaign.

Activities are carried out for the benefit of the advocates, such as the reduction of the annual membership fees and the establishment of funds to assist advocates experiencing financial difficulties.

The Bar concerns itself with the advocates' livelihood. Accordingly, a placements bureau was established, which operates energetically and successfully to find employment for hundreds of advocates and legal interns.

The Bar operates a consumer club that acquires benefits for Bar members in a very wide range of spheres.

The Bar engages in the formulation of an improved professional liability policy and other policies for the Bar's members.

The Bar holds an annual conference in Eilat, which includes fascinating professional sessions on a range of legal and social subjects, festive meals, and a range of entertainment and sports activities. At the annual conference the Bar becomes the central stage of the legal conversation in Israel. The central sessions held at the conference faithfully reflect the advocates' outlook on the central issues occupying the minds of the State's residents.

The Institute for Continuing Legal Studies has expanded and increased the range of professional studies which it offers the Bar's members throughout the year.

The Bar has a mediation institute, in which some 700 advocates are registered as mediators, classified in accordance with their spheres of expertise and experience. The Bar maintains contact with its members through the journal "The Advocate", which is circulated eight times a year to all advocates and judges in Israel, and through an advanced, comprehensive and informative Internet site.

International Ties: The Bar maintains regular contact with some of the largest international advocates' organisations and with other Bars throughout the world. Cooperation agreements, the preparation of common plans and mutual delegation exchanges have been agreed upon.

The Bar's representatives, including the President and the Chairman of the International Relations Committee, participate in conventions of organs representing the Bar, while making achievements and attaining senior positions in various organisations.

Meetings are held with senior Jewish jurists, Israeli and non-Israeli.

The Bar attends to the translation of legal articles from Hebrew into Spanish and sending them to the legal communities in South America, Spain and Portugal.

Meetings are held between the members of the Bar's committees and ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic community in Israel.

 

 

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