Netanyahu prepared to crush High Court, undermine foundations of democracy, Gal-On says

PM determined to pass bill that would allow the Knesset to pass laws vetoed by the High Court on grounds that they defy Basic Laws.

April 27, 2015 18:02
1 minute read.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, April 3, 2015. (photo credit: KOBY GIDEON/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to pass a bill that would allow the Knesset to re-legislate laws declared unconstitutional by the High Court, he told Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On Monday.

The bill in question is part of a judicial- reform package meant to fight judicial activism, which Likud and Bayit Yehudi hope to make part of the next coalition’s guidelines and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon opposes.

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The proposal would allow the Knesset to pass laws vetoed by the High Court on grounds that they defy Basic Laws, which are meant to eventually form a constitution. The laws would have to be voted in by a full majority of 61 MKs and would have to be renewed every four years.

This “override clause” is already part of Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation passed in 1994 following a demand by Shas to pass a law prohibiting the import of non-kosher meat. Likud and Bayit Yehudi seek to have it apply to all Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

The other judicial reform the parties want to implement is to increase the number of politicians on the Committee to Appoint Judges from four to six, thus decreasing the proportion of judges to elected officials on the panel.

Kahlon cosponsored a bill to the same effect in the 17th Knesset, but opposed it in coalition talks.

Gal-On said Netanyahu emphasized the judicial reforms, especially the override clause, in their meeting Monday afternoon.

“The cat is out of the bag. The prime minister is serving the extreme Right,” Gal-On said.

According to Gal-On, the override clause undermines human rights, and the prime minister “is prepared to crush the High Court and undermine the foundations of democracy for political interests.”

The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the matter.

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