Role of justice minister in presidential pardon overruled

November 29, 2010 21:15

A panel of nine Supreme Court Justices on Monday overruled an earlier decision by a smaller panel by determining that the role of the justice minister in adding his signature to a presidential pardon signifies the fundamental principle of checks and balances in the Israeli democratic system.

Nevertheless, the minister of justice does not have the right of veto over presidential pardons, which are based on the non-legal principles of compassion and mercy. Therefore, the justice minister may only refuse to affix his name to the presidential pardon in extreme circumstances.

Originally, the court had ruled that the justice minister had no supervisory powers whatsoever and that his signature alongside the president's only meant that the Justice Ministry had provided the president with all relevant information to enable him to properly decide whether to grant the pardon or not.

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