Israel Passes Judicial Law Amid Protests and Opposition

Jul25,2023 #Israel #judicial law
israel Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: 25 July 2023 at 14:00 IST

The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has approved a highly contentious judicial law that has sparked heated debates across the country. The law aims to alter the process of selecting Supreme Court judges, a move that has been met with strong resistance from various quarters, including legal experts, opposition parties, and civil society groups.

The new law, which was passed in a late-night session, allows the Knesset to veto candidates being considered for appointment to the Supreme Court. This represents a significant departure from the previous system, which vested the authority for judicial appointments in an independent committee.

Critics argue that the new law poses a serious threat to the independence of the judiciary and undermines the principle of separation of powers.

The legislation, championed by the coalition government, has faced fierce protests outside the Knesset building in Jerusalem, with citizens expressing concerns over the potential consequences for the country’s democratic institutions. Demonstrators have voiced fears that the new law could pave the way for politically motivated appointments and compromise the impartiality of the judiciary.

Legal experts and human rights organizations have also condemned the move, emphasizing that an independent judiciary is fundamental to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding democratic values. They argue that the Knesset’s ability to interfere in judicial appointments erodes the judiciary’s ability to serve as a check on the executive and legislative branches.

Opposition parties have vehemently opposed the law, staging walkouts during the parliamentary session and announcing their intention to challenge the legislation in the country’s highest court. They assert that the rushed passing of the bill without proper debate or consultation undermines democratic processes and transparency.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government has defended the judicial law, asserting that it seeks to democratize the appointment process and increase parliamentary oversight. Proponents argue that the previous system allowed unelected officials to exert undue influence over judicial appointments, and the new law aims to address this concern.

The controversial judicial law comes at a time of political instability in Israel, with the government narrowly surviving previous votes of no-confidence. Critics see the move as a tactic to solidify the coalition’s grip on power and exert control over key institutions.

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