The High Court of Justice
The Supreme Court may sit as the High Court of
Justice. As the HCJ, it deals with matters involving issues of justice which do
not fall under the jurisdiction of any other court. The HCJ may issue orders to
release persons who have been illegally detained or imprisoned; may issue orders
to state authorities, local authorities, their officials and other bodies that
fulfill public functions by law, to perform an act or refrain from performing an
act, while performing their tasks in accordance with the law, and if they have
been elected or appointed contrary to the law - to avoid acting; may issue orders
to courts and to bodies and persons with legal or quaisi-legal powers under the
law (as for example the Knesset when it lifts the immunity of a Knesset member).
Appeals to the HCJ are made by means of a petition. In the first stage of the
deliberation a HCJ justice decides whether there is any prima facie basis for the
petition. If his decision is positive he issues an order nisi. After the
substantial deliberation on the petition, the HCJ decides whether the order nisi
should be made absolute or whether the petition should be rejected. Turning the
order nisi into an absolute order means that the authority against which the
order was issued must comply. If the judge's decision is negative, the petition
is turned down.
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