Vote postponed on Judicial Selection C'tee bill

Bill in question would enforce the appointment of one coalition representative and one opposition representative from the Bar Association to the Judicial Selection Committee.

By
November 9, 2011 04:24
2 minute read.
Reuven Rivlin at EU Parliament

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin 311. (photo credit: Gabi Farkash)

 
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Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin postponed the vote on legislation regarding the make-up of the Judicial Selection Committee at the request of five opposition faction heads.

The move followed Monday’s declaration that this week’s agenda would be set by consensus, due to the Muslim and Druse holiday of Id al-Adha.

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Although Kadima complained that the move was politically motivated, due to Rivlin’s admitted presidential aspirations, the party drafted a letter and gathered signatures to delay voting on the bill proposed by coalition Chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), MK Yariv Levin (Likud), Israel Beiteinu faction Chairman Robert Ilatov, and others.

“Due to your decision, the vast majority of bills by opposition factions were removed from the agenda,” the letter reads. “Surprisingly, after checking with the Knesset secretary this morning, we found that the bill on the choice of the Bar Association’s representative to the Judicial Selection Committee remained on the agenda for Wednesday.”

“This bill is very controversial in the Knesset, as well as within the coalition, and was rejected last week in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. It passed by only one vote after an appeal [to the ministerial committee].”

Faction chairs Dalia Itzik (Kadima), Ilan Gilon (Meretz), Dov Henin (Hadash) and Eitan Cabel (Labor) all signed the letter, which explains that they “disagree that this bill be brought for a discussion and vote in the plenum.” The bill in question would enforce the appointment of one coalition representative and one opposition representative from the Bar Association to the Judicial Selection Committee.

According to the bill’s text, the legislation is meant to “require the Bar Association to set rules for choosing representatives to important selection committees.”

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“This proposal will prevent political negotiations in appointing said representatives,” the bill reads.

On Monday, Elkin explained that the bill is meant to legislate a norm that existed for decades and was recently overturned.

However, opposition members have complained that his bill would impose the coalition’s will on the Judicial Selection Committee.

“The Likud is cynically using the Knesset and the legislative process to promote bills that seem innocent, but actually express a clear and personal agenda – to promote their own people,” a Kadima spokesman said, regarding the bill.

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