Minister of Justice Yariv Levin was appointed to his post only after Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu undertook to back his planned reforms to Israel’s judicial system. Levin presented far-reaching changes, but the opposition to them is prompting second thoughts among senior people in the Likud party, and in other coalition parties as well.
The grass-roots of the Likud party, including local authority heads, are calling for wider consensus on reform. Likud figures have been talking place in the past few days with academics, lawyers and businesspeople, and local authority heads and politicians, on ways of moderating Levin’s plans. President Isaac Herzog is also involved in the talks.
Under discussion is the override clause and the Knesset majority required to set aside decisions of the High Court of Justice, alongside the special majority required on the court to strike down legislation, and the change in the status of legal advisers in government ministries. Levin proposes to make them personal appointments of government ministers, instead of independent civil servants reporting to the Attorney General. The most difficult matter is the method of selecting and appointing judges, on which the parties to the talks are refusing to budge.
Government representatives have rejected the demand to delay the reform and the discussions in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, and instead to set up a public committee to make recommendations on changes in the legal system. The counter-proposal of the Likud representatives is to reach agreement on certain changes, in exchange for some opposition representatives abstaining in the votes.
The most important thing, however, is that talks are taking place at all. Just this week, Netanyahu called on the objectors to make their own proposals for change, and these are now being discussed.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on January 26, 2023.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.
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