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The First Judicial Reform Bill Enacted by the Knesset

By 07/24/2023 10:51 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


On Monday, the Knesset approved a significant portion of the coalition’s judicial reform legislation into law. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was released from the hospital on Monday morning following a procedure to install a cardiac pacemaker, was one of the 64 coalition members who voted in favor.

Senators from the opposition abstained from the third and final vote.

The Supreme Court’s use of the so-called reasonableness criteria is restricted by the judiciary under the modification to the Basic Law.

Judges cannot use “reasonableness” as a legal defense to overturn decisions taken by the Cabinet, ministers, and “other elected officials as set by law.”

Justice Minister Yariv Levin questioned whether it was “logical to do what is reasonable in the eyes of the judges” prior to the vote.

Who made the decision that their own views were superior to the ministers’? “Where is the institution where I can study reasonableness? Is there a place like that? ‘Reasonableness’ is a worldview, hence the answer is obviously no. It’s not a legal issue, Levin continued.

Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party, criticized the law earlier today, calling it a “hostile takeover of the Israeli majority by an extremist minority,” and he said, “You know that what’s occurring here is a calamity that can be avoided.

A tragedy that needs to be stopped.

Tens of thousands of advocates for judicial reform gathered in Tel Aviv on Sunday night for a significant rally, while thousands of opponents of the reforms flocked to Jerusalem to protest the votes.

As anti-reform protesters attempted to obstruct the building in Jerusalem’s Givat Ram neighborhood, skirmishes with police resulted in the arrest of 12 people outside the Knesset.

Police deployed water cannons to scatter the protesters obstructing the Knesset’s entrance. According to Israeli media, five demonstrators were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem with minor wounds.

According to the police, three cops received minor medical attention at the hospital. “A violent siege in an attempt to prevent members of the Knesset from exercising their right and duty to vote in the plenum is not democracy,” declared Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

If the proposal became law, thousands of IDF reservists would have vowed not to report for service.

Before the ballots were cast, President Isaac Herzog declared a “state of national emergency,” despite his best efforts to reach a last-minute agreement. Netanyahu stated last week that the reform plan “won’t weaken democracy; it won’t put an end to it.

There won’t be any harm done to the legal rights of the courts or Israeli citizens. The court will keep an eye on whether government selections and decisions are legal.

According to him, “[we] will have to act in good faith and with proportionality, fairness, and equality.”


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