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Knesset Set To Cancel Reasonability Review Of Govt. Decisions

By 07/10/2023 11:46 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


As part of the government’s larger aim to make judicial changes, the Knesset will vote on a bill on Monday that would limit court review of the “reasonability” of decisions made by elected officials.

In accordance with the government’s proposed legislation, the reasonableness doctrine would no longer be applicable to decisions made by the cabinet, government ministers, and an undefined group of “other elected officials, as determined by law,” but it would still be applicable to decisions made by professional civil servants working for government ministries and agencies.

While the head of the Knesset committee sponsoring the measure and Justice Minister Levin were asked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “soften” the language so as not to insulate city halls from petitions based on reasonability, the bill’s text has not yet been changed.

To be passed into law by the end of the Knesset’s summer session on July 30, the bill is being pushed through the parliamentary process.

Its first of three necessary floor votes is on Monday.

The anti-reform protest movement has threatened massive, nationally disruptive demonstrations on Tuesday, including roadblocks and a protester inundation of Ben Gurion Airport and its internal access roads.

However, the parliamentary coalition is expected to easily pass the bill through its first reading.

The coalition allegedly advanced the plan as a committee bill rather than a government-sponsored bill, an uncommon decision for a modification to one of Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws, according to parliamentary opposition members and experts summoned to the Knesset Law committee.

The bill would typically be sponsored by the Justice Ministry as a revision to Basic Law: The Judiciary.

This approach would, however, require more time and subject the law to the attorney general’s review.

Rothman was planning to call the committee on Tuesday to start preparing for the second and third (and final) readings of the measure if it passed its first reading on Monday.

Even if a government or administrative decision does not break any specific laws or contradict other administrative rulings, courts can overturn it if they believe that it failed to consider all relevant factors or did not give those factors enough weight.

This is known as the “reasonableness” standard in law.

In the now-frozen negotiations between the parties, the coalition asserted that the opposition was close to making concessions on restricting reasonableness.

The opposition, however, asserts that no such agreements were reached and that it would not accede to judicial modifications piecemeal.

The measure has drawn criticism from the Attorney General’s Office, which said that it allowed for “arbitrary” decision-making.

Gil Limon, the deputy attorney general for administrative law, told the committee two weeks ago that what was before them was “a green light to the government, the prime minister, ministers, and other elected officials—aand to them alone—tto make arbitrary decisions that ignore relevant facts, necessary considerations, or give extremely exaggerated weight to the importance of negligible considerations.”


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