Sydney Beth Din applies for special leave to the High Court

January 18, 2019 by Henry Benjamin
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Four members of the Sydney Beth Din were found guilty of contempt of court and their appeal against the decision was dismissed. Now they are taking the steps necessary to have the matter dealt with by the High Court in Canberra.

A statement issued today reads: “The Beth Din has made an application for special leave to the High Court of Australia in relation to the recent judgment of the NSW Court of Appeal.  The Beth Din considers that the case raises significant questions as to the ability of Orthodox Jews to practise their faith freely and that it has broader implications for people of all faiths practising their religion in Australia.

Therefore, the Beth Din considers that the case raises issues of significant public interest and should accordingly be considered by the High Court of Australia.”

The four members of the Beth Din attended an injunction hearing at the Supreme Court in Sydney dealing with religious sanctions being threatened to an orthodox member of the Sydney Jewish community who defied the Beth Din.

The threat of the sanctions was the result of the member refusing to appear before the Beth Din on a $5 million commercial dispute.

The judge hearing the injunction matter found the rabbis’ actions to be contempt of court and fined them collectively $50,000.

Rabbis Moshe Gutnick, Michael Chriqui, Yehoram Ulman and Eli Schlanger appealed the verdict but it was upheld by a 2-1 decision by the three appeal judges. However, the fines imposed on them were halved.

 

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