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Israel’s Supreme Court hears petitions challenging the repeal of the reasonableness clause in the basic law

By 09/12/2023 8:08 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


Tuesday morning will see an extraordinary full panel session of the Israeli Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the government’s judicial changes, which included the elimination of the reasonableness clause.

The court has received a number of petitions asking that the government’s law be repealed. It is the first time in Israel’s history that a court has gotten involved in a fundamental statute, and it’s still not clear if the political establishment will accept the court’s decision on what amounts to a constitutional provision.

The contentious hearing will pit the court against the political elite, who have expressed concerns about the court’s ability to provide an objective review of a situation that affects the scope of its own jurisdiction.

Yariv Levin, the justice minister and one of the authors of the judicial reform law, had previously declined to make a commitment to upholding the court’s decision. In a social media post on Tuesday, he said that the sheer fact that the hearing is happening is a “severe blow to democracy.”

“Today’s Supreme Court hearing, which is entirely unconstitutional, is a serious setback for democracy and the standing of the Knesset.

Chief justices of the Supreme Court and judges from all generations have all agreed that the Basic Laws passed by the Knesset represent the will of the people, who are the sovereign.

Contrary to Levin’s assertion, Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara declined to even speak on behalf of the government in the legal battle to uphold the statute, which limits judicial scrutiny of executive branch actions. Baharav-Miara even recommended to the court that the law that eliminated the reasonableness provision be repealed.

Prior to the historic hearing, a few government ministers intimidated Supreme Court justices and high-ranking legal professionals.

Even if three Likud ministers emphasized this week that they would accept the court’s decision, other coalition members have gone a step farther and declared that the Knesset will not, under any circumstances, respect the court’s decision.

The 15-member panel’s ruling is not anticipated to be delivered for several weeks or even months, but the hearing has garnered attention because of the judges’ comments and inquiries, which can reveal what they think of the petitions challenging the fundamental law.


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bobby bracros

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