Tags: benjamin netanyahu | israel | judicial reforms | benny gantz | yoav gallant

Netanyahu: Israel to Move Ahead With Judicial Reforms

By    |   Monday, 19 June 2023 10:12 AM EDT

According to a report from Kan News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently revealed his plans for moving forward with judicial reforms.

Netanyahu accused opposition leaders Gantz and Lapid of "playing a game" of dialogue. He said that opposition representatives delayed "month after month" but "did not agree to the minimum understanding."

He said that because of this, the coalition will "begin practical steps" which will happen "in a measured and responsible manner in accordance with the mandate we received to reform the judicial system."

According to the report, Netanyahu plans to begin by reducing the High Court's grounds for reasonableness in dismissing or overruling Knesset legislation. Currently grounds of reasonableness is used by the High Court for judicial review of Knesset legislation, and for overturning government decisions such as appointments to government positions.

Following that, the prime minister plans to reform the Judicial Selection Committee under a new plan by Minister David Amsalem and Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs.

Netanyahu reportedly told a meeting in his office, "Everyone understands that the previous law of the Judicial Selection Committee will not be promoted."

This was a reference to the proposal by Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman Simcha Rothman which was almost passed in March after three readings.

That legislation only needed a final vote to become law. Netanyahu paused the legislation in March following significant pressure from protest movements and following significant warnings from members of his own party, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

In reducing the grounds of reasonableness, Netanyahu plans to limit the High Court's ability to interfere in ministerial decisions and appointments, according to the Kan News report.

That move is widely seen as preparing the way for Netanyahu to reappoint fired Health and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri. Deri was fired by Netanyahu after the High Court ruled that his appointment to a ministerial position was unreasonable as it violated his plea bargain.

The next move would be legislation changing the office of the Attorney General. While this legislation is not clear, the coalition has discussed two changes to the Attorney General's office. One change would split the office in two: a chief government legal adviser and a chief prosecutor.

Israel is the only country to combine the two roles into one office in the Attorney General. This makes Israel's attorney general one of the most power unelected officials in the world.

Judicial reform proponents say having the two offices combined in one role creates a conflict of interest when deciding whether to pursue legal action against a government member.

Critics of the reform say splitting the roles into two positions would undermine the independence of the chief prosecutor by politicizing the appointment of the prosecutor.

The Kan News report also claimed that Justice Minister Yariv Levin is demanding immediate action on judicial reforms, especially after the setback the coalition experienced last week.

Other coalition members have also called for progress on judicial reforms.

The opposition is threatening that if judicial reform legislation advances, there will be "Galant 2 events", referring to the large protests after Netanyahu announced the firing of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in March.

National Unity party leader Benny Gantz said, "Last week, Netanyahu showed national irresponsibility and tried to undermine the ability to reach agreements. He failed, and not for the first time."

Gantz also warned, "If Netanyahu goes for unilateral legislation and does the same aggressive and heavy-handed action again, he will harm democracy, Israeli society, the economy and security. And after all this, he will also fail. He will not have a majority of the people; he will not have a majority in the Knesset."

Gantz said Netanyahu should "keep his promise at the President's House and complete the process of the Judicial Selection Committee."

This article originally appeared on All Israel News and is reposted with permission.


According to a report from Kan News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently revealed his plans for moving forward with judicial reforms.
benjamin netanyahu, israel, judicial reforms, benny gantz, yoav gallant
Monday, 19 June 2023 10:12 AM
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