New court CLE program explores judicial independence in Israel

February 15, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Henry Greenberg, a past president of the NYSBA, will moderate the panel discussion for the CLE program "Judicial Independence: The Israeli Experience," that will focus on the importance of judicial independence and its challenges.Photo courtesy of the NYSBA
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A groundbreaking Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, “Judicial Independence: The Israeli Experience,” will be presented by the Historical Society of the New York Courts, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and The Fund for Modern Courts on March 4, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. 

The event aims to delve into the complexities of the Israeli judicial system and the ongoing debates surrounding proposed judicial reforms. This timely program will be held at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City and simultaneously livestreamed at

The session is set to explore the structure and roots of Israel’s multifaceted judicial system, which comprises both secular and religious courts, and will feature a panel discussion with esteemed members of Israel’s judiciary and bar. 

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Adding a comparative dimension, Hon. Rolando Acosta, former presiding justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, will offer insights from a New York perspective. 

The panel will examine the implications of the proposed reforms on the courts’ operation and their broader role within the Israeli legal framework, drawing parallels to the judicial processes in New York and the United States.

Henry Greenberg, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig and the moderator for the panel discussion, emphasized the critical role of an independent judiciary in upholding the rule of law. 

“An independent judiciary is the foundation of the rule of law,” Greenberg said. “The framers of our federal and state governments believed that the sine qua non for fairness and impartiality is a judiciary separate from, and not pressured by, the other branches of government or private or partisan influence. 

“However, it is now commonplace to see executive and legislative branch officials (federal and state) demonize judges and threaten political reprisal. Such conduct is worse than inappropriate — it is dangerous. These worrisome developments — seemingly escalating in intensity and frequency — endanger the safety of judges and undermine public confidence in courts.”

This event is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association. It is free and open to the public, with registration available through the court’s Historical Society’s website.

The Historical Society of the New York Courts, established in 2002 by then-NYS Chief Judge Judith Kaye, is dedicated to preserving and promoting New York’s legal history and the evolution of the Rule of Law. The society engages in educational outreach, public programs, and publications to further its mission, supported by contributions from members, foundations, corporations, law firms and individual donors.

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