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Israel’s Supreme Court postpones a crucial hearing on judicial reform after the attorney general objects to the proposal

By 09/05/2023 7:52 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


After the nation’s attorney general vehemently opposed the proposal, Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday postponed the first of three crucial hearings on the legality of the judicial overhaul, which is being spearheaded by the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since the coalition’s election, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, a supporter of Netanyahu, has declined to call the committee that chooses the country’s judges, leaving a number of judgeships vacant throughout the nation.

Attorney General Gail Baharav-Miara’s attorneys will now confront the justice minister’s attorney in court, a highly unusual circumstance, according to experts.

As part of a larger judicial reform initiative proposed by Netanyahu’s government, Levin, a key architect of the overhaul, wants to alter the composition of the selection committee to give Netanyahu’s far-right ruling coalition the final say over the appointment of judges.

Petitioners were scheduled to present their arguments in opposition to Levin’s refusal on Thursday before the Court postponed the hearing for 12 days.

According to experts, the attorney general would have represented Levin’s position in a normal situation.

Levin requested that the hearing be postponed so that he could consult with an independent attorney after Baharav-Miara made it clear that she opposed the overhaul and his position.

Amichai Cohen, a constitutional law professor and senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, a think tank in Jerusalem, said, “This is all very exceptional.”

He claimed that, prior to the current administration, the attorney general and the executive branch rarely held independent positions. He stated that “typically there is a dialogue in which a unified position is adopted.

The hearing was postponed by the Supreme Court until September 19. Baharav-Miara claimed that Levin’s actions had resulted in numerous vacancies in a filing she made to the court on Monday.

According to the filing, there will be more than 53 open judgeships nationwide by the end of the year, or more than 5% of the entire national bench.

Levin has until Sunday to retain a lawyer of his choosing and present the court with his argument.

This month, Israel’s Supreme Court will hear three crucial cases involving the legality of judicial reform.

The hearing is one of them. If Netanyahu’s administration decides not to follow the court’s rulings, it could lead to a constitutional crisis. The court will hear arguments in the most well-known case on September 12, in which the coalition’s decision to abolish the “reasonableness standard” was challenged.

The Court employs this standard to overturn parliamentary selections and decisions on the grounds that they are unreasonable.

The non-elected judges in the nation wield too much power, according to Netanyahu’s coalition, which is made up primarily of religious and ultranationalist parties, and they need to be restrained.

Wide-ranging Israeli society’s critics of the plan claim it will eliminate the nation’s system of checks and balances and consolidate power in the hands of Netanyahu and his allies.

Tens of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated against the reform for more than eight months, marking the longest-lasting protests the nation has ever seen.

According to the coalition, judges shouldn’t be able to overturn significant judgments made by elected officials.

The removal of the reasonableness standard, according to the government’s detractors, allows for corruption and the improper appointment of unqualified cronies to important positions.


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bobby bracros

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