Israeli Judiciary combats defamatory posts aimed at judges

The Court Administration of the Israeli Judiciary recently approached the State Attorney’s office and the Israeli Ministry of Justice, requesting they examine the legal measures available in the struggle against slanderous and belligerent online posts and publications aimed at judges. These publications often appear in personal blogs, forums and YouTube clips. According to the Court Administration, this has recently become a growing phenomenon, with publications that amount to defamation and incitement, particularly those directed toward judges presiding in family court, which deal with child custody matters.

Among the measures suggested by the Court Administration: taking down the offending publications, blocking webpages the post these publications, and promoting legislative amendments to establish the tools necessary to combat these types of activities. Sources at the State Attorney’s office expressed surprise at the Court Administration’s request, noting its inconsistency with current Israeli case law, which affords broad protection for freedom of expression on the Internet, even for obscene content. The organization “A is for Abba” (Herbew for “D is for Dad”), which promotes equal rights for fathers, criticized the Court Administration, claiming it seeks to ban legitimate forms of protest and criticism. Source: Ha’aretz (In Hebrew, by Revital Hovel)