Ensuring Transparency: Opening the Proceedings of Inquiry and Inspection Commissions to the Public

>> Click here to read the full policy paper 

State commissions of inquiry and government inspection committees are set up to examine, investigate, get to the bottom of the truth, and then present it in full to the public. However, the situation in Israel today is such that the public is not exposed to these bodies’ full discussions and proceedings. At best, they get to learn the “bottom line” contained in their final reports. Many human rights are thus violated, including the right to access government information, the people’s right to know, and the publicity of proceedings.

This policy paper seeks to ensure that the Israeli public can form its own impressions, as transparently and as directly as possible, about the debate and the process that leads to the decisions of commissions of inquiry and inspection committees. We seek to ensure that hearings are held openly and that the minutes of the deliberations are publicized before the release of the final report to enable the public to learn what transpired inside these panels, as well as to safeguard the publicity of the proceedings, the right to access government information, and the people’s right to know.

To that end, we seek to pass two amendments that will protect these rights continually and obviate the need for legal proceedings and repeated petitions by associations, organizations, or individuals:

   ● Commissions of inquiry Law-1968 shall henceforth stipulate that commissions will be required to publish regular updates of the proceedings’ minutes until the final report’s release unless there is relevant security, political, economic, or personal justification for not doing so.

   ● Subsection (f) shall be added to Article 8A of The Government Law-2001, stating that publicity of the proceedings of inspection committees and publication of their findings, including the minutes, shall be by Commissions of inquiry Law-1968, making publicity of proceedings and publication of minutes the rule, and keeping them confidential the exception.



Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.