An international emergency conference was held on Sunday morning at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) in Jerusalem and saw attendances and testimonies from officials, jurists and legal experts worldwide regarding the judicial reform.
Participants came from Hungary, Poland, India, Ireland, Canada and France, during which they discussed the future of Israel. Jurists at the conference warned that Israel can expect violations of human rights, a collapse of the economy and a silenced media should the judicial reforms continue.
Research showed that an automatic majority to the current coalition to select justices is nearly nonexistent in other democracies, while judicial reform advocates claim that the overhaul will bring the judicial selection process closer to that of other parliamentary systems.
Statements by the president of the Israel Democracy Institute
"It is important to emphasize that Israel is not unusual in the way judges are chosen as is customary today," said IDI president Yohanan Plesner. "We hear from the supporters of the 'reform' that they are only implementing a process for selecting judges that exist in other liberal democracies, but most of the references to methods in other countries, such as those made by the prime minister on Thursday when he mentioned Canada and the United States, are very misleading or completely wrong."
"We hear from the supporters of the 'reform' that they are only implementing a process for selecting judges that exist in other liberal democracies."Yohanan Plesner
"Recently, we find the need to remind Israelis how vulnerable our democracy is compared to any other democracy in the world. Israel actually has no checks and balances. We have no constitution, no bill of rights, no federal distribution of power and no presidential veto.
"The only brake on the power of a political majority is the Supreme Court. Therefore, damage to the independence of the court, small or large, has a significant and unique effect on the democratic balance in Israel," he continued.
Statements by former justice ministers from abroad
"I am amazed by the incompetence and the bizarre move," said former Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter. "I understand the politics behind it, but I don't understand how intelligent people can deal with such an important issue in such a quick way and in such a short time.
Former Canadian Justice Minister and Attorney-General Irwin Kolter said: “There is absolutely no comparison to be made between the proposals being made in Israel and the system in Canada, any comparison is misleading - we do have a superseding clause, but it comes within the Canadian Bill of Rights, as part of the federal system, and Democratic rights. It is not the same as what is happening in Israel."