High Court Appeals
Creating legal precedents to protect agunot and mesurevot get.
including: preventing the Rabbinate from overturning a decision using a proxy divorce to release the Agunah of Tsfat (a tragic case of a woman tied to a man who was on life support in a vegetative state for many years); ensuring that women candidates can be appointed to the position of Director of the Rabbinical Courts – leading directly to the recent appointment of the first female deputy director; a supreme court appeal against the rabbinical courts’ refusal to consider annulment of the marriage of a agunah where one of the witnesses was a convicted pedophile. For more information click here.
Below are examples of petitions we have submitted to the High Court of Justice during recent years:
Case 9261/16 Agunah of Tsfat
In 2014 the petitioner was granted a proxy divorce by the Rabbinical Court in Zefat. Since the husband was a “vegetable” the court acted on his behalf during the Halakhic procedure and released the woman from her marriage. In 2017, after a man unrelated to the case, appealed against the ruling, the Rabbinical High Court decided to hold a new hearing on the divorce case. Mavoi Satum successfully petitioned the Supreme Court of Justice, arguing that the Rabbinical High Court is not entitled to reopen the case based on the petition of someone unrelated to the case, thus preventing the woman from becoming once again a tragically chained agunah.
Case 882/20 – Pedophile witness
The Rabbinical court, by a range of actions beyond its authority, ruled to reject the application of a woman to annul her marriage since one of the witnesses to the marriage was a pedophile. The High Court of Justice has not yet responded.
Case 2102/18 – Private marriage registration
The petition was lodged with the High Court of Justice requesting that it instruct the court to register a couple, who were married privately according to Jewish Law, as a married couple. The court rejected the petition.
Case 8213/14 – Appointment of a female director of the Rabbinical Courts.
The appeal was lodged with the High Court of Justice following the refusal of the courts to consider a woman for the position of Director. The appeal was accepted and the regulations amended. Unfortunately, the President of the Court was able to circumvent the need to hold an open tender in which both genders could apply for the position, and appointed a sitting judge to the position without a tender. During the deliberations on the appeal, the High Court instructed the court administration to appoint a woman as deputy director of the rabbinical courts. This instruction was implemented.