Shaked: Rethink court-Knesset relationship

After the High court ruled to uphold most recent version of the governments policy to curb illegal migration, Shaked warns that it must be regulated by law.

Ayelet Shaked (photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)
Ayelet Shaked
(photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)
The courts’ authority in regard to the Knesset must be regulated by law, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked emphasized after the High Court ruled on Tuesday to mostly uphold a third version of the government’s policy to curb illegal migration, after having overturned the previous two.
Shaked praised the ruling, but added that “it’s important in a civilized, democratic country that the definition of the courts’ authority is clear.”
She quoted from Justice Neal Hendel’s section of the ruling that “there is a sort of constitutional discourse between the judiciary and the Knesset, but it is not one between has a different purpose and authorities... The discourse between the court and the Knesset was harmed.”
The justice minister said that “we didn’t need to reach a third discussion of the ‘anti-infiltration law.’ The legislative branch’s hands did not need to be tied as they were.”
As such, Shaked said, a Basic Law: Legislation – regulating the authorities of the judicial and legislative branches – is necessary.
“The State of Israel acted intensely in the last year to try to solve the illegal infiltration issue by upping the pace of deportation to third countries,” she said. “In recent months, we see the beginning of a new wave of migration, including some who infiltrated [Israel] for a second time and some who already got money from the government to leave. They’re back to work.”
The government is working on how to deal with the new migrants and reduce the motivation for more to arrive, she said.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who proposed the version of the law that was approved Tuesday when he was interior minister in 2014, called for the Knesset to pass a law that allows it to re-pass legislation rejected by the High Court and “protect its status as a legislator.”
“By saying that 12 months [of detention for migrants] is more appropriate than 20 and expressing sympathy for the infiltrators – but ignoring the appropriate sympathy for the hardships residents of the [poor] neighborhoods face – the High Court is calling itself a ‘super-lawmaker’ that makes arrangements instead of the legislature,” Erdan said.
The minister explained that “detention for 20 months was decided upon after intense work with the attorney-general and his staff and after all the arrangements were made for the infiltrators in Holot to leave and move freely during the day, while creating a detention period that will motivate them to return to the countries they came from and not stay in cities and neighborhoods, which creates social and security problems and harms our citizens,” Erdan explained.
The High Court is not only reducing the detention period so that there is less of a motivation for migrants to leave the country, Erdan said, but also delaying the policy of arranging deportation to third countries that he implemented as interior minister.