Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann is due to publish in the next few days a memorandum on his bill to sharply limit the power of the High Court of Justice to nullify Knesset legislation, his communications adviser, Tzahi Moshe, said on Monday.
The bill would give the Knesset the right to override a High Court decision to revoke a law that it had passed on condition that it went through the entire legislative process again within six months of the court's decision.
Two weeks ago, during a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation in which Friedmann first declared his intention to pass the law, he said his proposal was based on the system in effect in Canada according to its constitution, known as the Charter of Rights.
However, an examination of the Charter has revealed that there are at least two crucial differences between the Canadian restrictions on judicial review of legislation and the system that Friedmann wants to introduce here.
According to the Canadian system, the federal or provincial parliaments may indeed re-legislate a law that the Supreme Court has deemed a violation of human rights guaranteed by the Charter. To do so, however, parliament must go through the full legislative procedure again, after inserting an override clause expressly stating that the law was rejected by the Supreme Court because it violated these guarantees. The clause must include a specific reference to the guarantee in the Charter that the law violates.
After five years, the law automatically becomes void unless parliament once more goes through the entire legislative procedure.
Furthermore, parliament may only override some of the rights guaranteed by the charter. For example, rights having to do with the democratic process, mobility and language rights may not be violated by parliament under any circumstances.
According to Friedmann's proposal, once the Knesset re-legislates a law rejected by the High Court, it becomes permanent legislation and the Knesset must take the initiative if it wants to change it in the future.
Friedmann has not said anything about whether any of the rights currently guaranteed in the country's basic laws will be regarded as inviolable.
Moshe told The Jerusalem Post Friedmann had not claimed his law was identical with the Canadian system but only that the Charter had served as the basis for his proposal.