Israel’s judicial reform of 2023 is the flagship program of the current government. Surrounding controversy has captivated the Jewish world and an impassioned Israelis Left and Right.
No. 4: The Protest Leaders >>
No. 6: Esther Hayut and Gali Baharav Miara >>
Full list >>
Justice Minister Yariv Levin announced the judicial reform in January, and has continued to be the overhaul’s figurehead. Levin’s proposals sought to change the system for selecting judges, alter the roles of the Attorney-General’s Office and government legal advisers, both enshrine judicial review in law and severely limit it, introduce an override clause over High Court of Justice cancellations of legislation, and invalidate the reasonableness standard.
Nine months later, this wish list of the Israeli Right has not come to full fruition. A law restricting the reasonableness standard was passed by the Knesset in July, a victory for Levin. Yet the overhaul agenda has continued to define the coalition and Israeli politics. But while Levin has been a figurehead, he has given few interviews and infrequently comments on the overhaul.
The man widely regarded as the architect and voice of the judicial reform is Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman. Rothman has written two books on the problems of Israel’s judicial system, and has integrated that experience and research into his drafting of the judicial reform laws.
As chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, Rothman has overseen the front-line debates on the content of the reform, and like no other official has been eager to present the case for overhaul to the public, be it by newspaper interview or before NGO forums.