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Swords of Iron: Operations of Courts and Filing Timelines

In light of the ongoing Swords of Iron war, the Israeli court have issued regulations amending typical filing timelines and court operations. These regulations are updated regularly and as such changes should be tracked.

  • Law on Postponement of Deadlines (Order of Time – Iron Swords) (Contract, Judgment or Payment to the Authority), 2023 (the “Law”)

The Law grants a 30-day extension for any deadline set forth in a contract, a judgment, or for payment to a Governmental Authority, to the extent such deadline falls at any time between 7 October and 7 December 2023 (the “Defined Period”). The extension applies, inter alia, to the following persons: (1) IDF soldiers, (including soldiers drafted on reserve duty); (2) police officers; (3) prison guards as defined under the Israeli Police Ordinance; (4) firefighters; (5) missing persons, abductees, or  persons being held captive; (6) those who resided prior to the enactment of the Law in towns which were forcibly evacuated as set out in the Law; (7) persons hospitalized, for more than 7 days, due to a terror-related injury; (8) estates of eligible persons set out above (except evacuees); (9) spouses of eligible persons set out above who bear the legal liability jointly with them; (10) certain employees or volunteers in rescue organizations working on a full-time basis.

The Defense Minister, with the consent of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Finance, in consultation with the Ministry of the Interior and the approval of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, are authorized to extend the Defined Period until 31 December 2023, and may also prolong the extension itself.

The extension does not allow for the delay of alimony payments or payments owed pursuant to employment contracts.

  • Ministry of Justice and the Courts Administration

On October 8, 2023, the Minister of Justice declared a special state of emergency, since which time the Israeli court system has been operating on an emergency schedule. During such period, hearings are limited to urgent matters, such as hearings on arrests and releases on bail, requests for urgent remedies in civil cases, urgent petitions for judicial review to the Supreme Court and hearings on offences relating to the state of emergency. Matters that are not defined as urgent are automatically postponed until the end of the emergency period.

On October 18, 2023, in a special announcement by the Director of the Courts and the President of the National Labor Court, additional types of matters were added to the list of hearings that may proceed during this period, as well as authorizing court presidents to allow for additional hearings at their discretion. Notwithstanding the suspension of most hearings, secretaries of most courts continue to remain operative thus allowing for the submission of new pleadings (both physically and through the court’s online system).

On November 10, 2023, the Minister of Justice extended the notification of the state of emergency until November 30, 2023, and signed an amendment to the Regulations of the Courts and Enforcement Agencies (Temporary Order) (Judicial Procedures in a Special State of Emergency), 2023, which set a goal of a gradual return to an “emergency routine”.

This amendment further expanded the list of matters which the courts would deal with during the emergency period, including, for example, pre-trial hearings in civil cases which may be held via videoconference (the amendment also allows for such hearings to be held in person, subject to the parties’ consent).

The state of emergency also imposed an automatic extension for all deadlines, inter alia, for fulfilling court orders and submitting court documents, so that the period during which the state of emergency is in place shall not be counted for the purpose of meeting such deadlines, and shall therefor be extended accordingly.

With effect from 1 December 2023, the state of “emergency routine” for the Israeli court system was suspended in most cases, but remains in effect for parties to a case (or their counsel) who remain in active duty relating to (or other specific categories of people directly affected by) the Swords of Iron war.

A party affected by this decree may apply to the president of the pertinent court with a request to deviate from them in specific circumstances.

For up to date information or if you are affected by these matters, our disputes team stands ready to assist.


* This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only, is general in nature, does not constitute a legal opinion or legal advice and should not be relied on as such. If you are seeking legal advice, it is essential to review the specific facts of each case in detail with a qualified lawyer.

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