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The Supreme Court of Israel plays a central function within Israeli society and politics. As in the US, public debates about the Court’s role and legitimacy are common. In this lecture, Professor Holtzman-Gazit presents her research comparing the type and extent of media coverage of Israeli judicial appointments in 2008 with that of the preceding years as well as patterns of press coverage in the US. The analysis presents two competing frames of coverage: (1) the frame of legality, which emphasizes legalistic criteria and judicial qualifications; and (2) the political frame that associates the nominee with ideology and partisanship. The research findings suggest that candidates' personal lives were not widely discussed in the coverage of judicial nominations in Israel. Moreover, while US coverage tends to stress judges' ideology or the claims of partisan groups, the political frame in Israel is derived from the association of the appointments system with political actors, and from descriptions of the negotiations and bargaining in judicial selection and promotion. Professor Holtzman-Gazit discusses these findings within the wider theoretical and political debate about the role and legitimacy of the Israeli Supreme Court.
About Professor Yifat Holzman-Gazit
Yifat Holzman-Gazit is a Professor at the School of Law, College of Management in Israel. She has a JSD ('97) from Stanford Law School and an LL,B (cum laude '89) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her areas of research are mass media and the law; land expropriations and history of Israeli land law. She is the author of Land Expropriation in Israel: Law, Culture and Society (Ashgate publishing 2007) and numerous articles in the field of media and the law. Prof. Holzman-Gazit has been a visiting professor at Stanford Law School as the Schusterman Israeli Visiting Professor (2007-2008). She is a member of the international committee of the Law and Society Association and serves on the boards of the Israeli law and society association and the Center for Media and Law at Bar-Ilan University. In addition since 2010 Prof. Holzman-Gazit serves as the representative of Israeli legal academy in the Advising Committee for Land Expropriation.