coteret

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Jurisdiction:
As a court of first instance
As an appellate court
Guiding Precedent
Judges
Composition
Presiding Judge
Appeal
 
The District Court

  See: Courts Law [Consolidated Version], 5744-1984, Sections 33-42.

  In Israel there are six District Courts: in Jerusalem,  
  Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Petah-Tikva, Haifa, Be'er Sheva and Nazareth. Approximately 90 judges serve in these courts.
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  Jurisdiction: The District Court sits as a court of
  first instance and as an appellate court on the judgments of the Magistrates' Court. It also hears appeals on judicial and quasi-judicial decisions of Administrative Tribunals and other different bodies, by virtue of the powers conferred specifically upon it by law.
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  As a court of first instance: As a court of first
  instance, the District Court has a kind of residual jurisdiction. It has jurisdiction in any matter not within the jurisdiction of the Magistratesí Court and which is not within the sole jurisdiction of another court.
   
  Criminal matters: The District Court has
  jurisdiction in any criminal matter not within the jurisdiction of the Magistratesí Court. These are, essentially, cases of serious criminal offences, in which the penalty for the offence is the death penalty or imprisonment for a period of more than seven years.
   
  Civil matters: In civil matters, the District Court has
  jurisdiction in regard to monetary claims of a particularly high sum or value, of above one million Israeli shekels.
  The District Court has jurisdiction also in other matters, such as prisonersí petitions, appeals on tax matters, appeals regarding the Knesset elections register. Appeals regarding Knesset election results are heard before the Jerusalem District Court. The Haifa District Court also serves as a Maritime Court. District Court judges, duly appointed, also serve as Presiding Judges of Standard Contracts Tribunals and Restrictive Practices Tribunals.
   
  Until recently, the District Court also heard matters
  relating to personal status which were not within the sole jurisdiction of the Religious Tribunals. Jurisdiction in regard to these matters has now been vested in the Magistratesí Courts, sitting as a Family Court. This change is part of a process of complete restructuring of the court system, initiated by the Knesset. Its purpose is to gradually transform the District Court into essentially an appellate court. Many of the issues within the District Courtís jurisdiction as a court of first instance will be given over to the Magistratesí Courts, other than jurisdiction in regard to serious criminal offences and certain civil matters.
   
  It is also intended to gradually transfer some of the
  powers of the Supreme Court as the High Court of Justice to the District Courts. In 1997 a Bill was submitted to the Knesset which proposes that District Courts serve as Administrative Courts, and rule on matters that are at present within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. In these courts, judges with the expertise to adjudicate such matters would sit and the procedures, remedies and grounds of action applicable in the High Court of Justice would be in effect.
   
  As an appellate court: The District Court hears
  appeals on the judgments of Magistratesí Courts. It also hears appeals on judicial and quasi-judicial decisions of Administrative Tribunals and other different bodies, by virtue of the powers conferred specifically upon it by law, as well as upon decisions of the Chief Execution Officers.
   
  Guiding Precedent: A ruling laid down by the
  District Court serves as a persuasive or guiding precedent to the Magistratesí Courts.
   
  Judges: The number of District Court judges in
  each Court is determined by the Minister of Justice. Each District Court is headed by a President, and at his side, one or more Deputy Presidents.
   
  Composition: District Courts are usually
  composed of a Single judge. But the District Court sits as a panel of three judges when it serves as a court of appeal on a judgment of a Magistratesí Court, and when it hears, at first instance, cases of particularly serious offences (such as murder, attempted murder, rape, sexual offences within the family, and offences against state security), and any other matter in respect of which the President or Deputy President of the District Court has directed that it be dealt with by a bench of three Judges.
   
  Presiding Judge: Where a District Court deals
  with any Matter by a bench of three Judges, including the President, the President is the Presiding Judge; if a Deputy President, but not the President, is included, the Deputy President is the Presiding Judge; if more than one Deputy President is included, the one with the greater length of service is the Presiding Judge; in any other case, the Judge with the greatest length of service is the Presiding Judge. The length of service, for this purpose, is calculated from the date of the appointment of the Judge to the District Court.
   
  Appeal: Judgments of the District Court are
  appealable to the Supreme Court. If the judgment has been given at first instance, the appeal is as of right; if the judgment has been given by the District Court as an appellate court, then the appeal is by leave to appeal. Leave to appeal is granted either in the judgment itself or by a Supreme Court justice. Interim decisions of the District Court in civil matters are also appealable to the Supreme Court where leave to appeal has been granted by a Supreme Court justice.