PM freezes contentious Bar Association Bill

Netanyahu tells justice minister to stop progress of bill, says it won't stand before the High Court.

January 4, 2012 20:30
1 minute read.
The Knesset adjourning for its spring break.

Knesset session 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu froze the "Bar Association Bill," telling Justice Minister Ya'akov Neeman to "stop the progress of this law."

According to Channel 10 news, Netanyahu understood that the bill in its present form, even if it passed a final reading in the Knesset, would not stand in the High Court of Justice.

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Likud ministers rebel against ‘Bar Association Bill’
Contentious vote delayed despite PM intervention

The prime minister's decision to freeze the bill follows outrage from fellow Likud members over amendments to the bill Monday

Those amendments retroactively canceled the selection of representatives to the Judicial Selection Committee, a move which Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar said set a dangerous precedent.

The justice minister has not voiced his opinion on the bill himself, due to his position as chairman of the Judicial Selection Committee.

Earlier Wednesday, Kadima delayed the vote on the controversial “Bar Association Bill” despite Netanyahu's attempt to ensure the second and third (final) readings of the legislation would take place on Monday.

The bill’s status changed from postponed to on-time to postponed yet again on Wednesday afternoon. First, MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) announced that he plans to take advantage of a little-used article in Knesset regulations that allows a bill to be brought back to a committee for discussion, after it is already submitted for its second and third (final) readings in the plenum.

On Monday, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved a change to the “Bar Association Bill” that would effectively cancel the results of the Bar’s recent election of representatives to the Judicial Selection Committee, leading to an uproar among Likud ministers.


The committee was meant to vote on Shama-Hacohen’s proposed postponement on Wednesday afternoon, but the meeting was canceled within an hour of its announcement.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report

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