Israel’s government plans to pass a “reasonability clause” that would remove power of the Supreme Court to overrule government decisions deemed unreasonable.
Israel’s hard-right government was planning Monday to push through parliament a key element of its controversial judicial revamp.
The “reasonability clause” would remove the power of the Supreme Court to overrule government decisions that its judges deem unreasonable.
The wider reform plans have sparked protests, often drawing tens of thousands, since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government proposed them in January.
Critics charge they threaten liberal democracy itself by removing important checks and balances on executive power in a country that has no formal constitution.
Netanyahu’s government, which includes far-right parties, argues they are needed to curb overreach by unelected judges, many of whom it accuses of a liberal bias.
Opponents have accused Netanyahu, who is fighting corruption charges in court, of trying to weaken the judiciary in a personal conflict of interest, a charge he denies.
Here are the major elements of the legislation presented by Justice Minister Yariv Levin:
The 120-seat parliament, known as the Knesset, was expected to give final approval to the “reasonability” clause in a vote scheduled for Monday.
Critics of Israel’s Supreme Court, notably on the political right, point to this clause as among the gravest examples of judges exercising too much power.
The Supreme Court in a recent high-profile ruling barred a Netanyahu ally, Aryeh Deri, from serving in the cabinet because of Deri’s previous tax evasion conviction.
Under the government’s plan and other proposals, the Bar Association members would be removed from the process.
An amended version of Levin’s proposal, endorsed by lawmakers in late March, would put more lawmakers and members of the judiciary on the panel, while still granting greater powers to the government.
That proposal awaits final votes by the full chamber.
A separate piece of legislation would change the way the Supreme Court’s president is selected, also giving the government a greater say.