Mazuz to Friedmann: Don't use law to limit court's right to judge

A-G responds to reports that justice minister plans to pass law to curb High Court's "activism" in reviewing acts of gov't.

mazuz 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
mazuz 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann should not push for legislation prohibiting the High Court from reviewing government decisions involving security and budgetary affairs or those made by the attorney-general regarding whether or not to indict suspects, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz said in a statement issued Thursday. Mazuz was responding to reports that Friedmann intends to propose that the Knesset pass such a law to curb the High Court's "activism" in reviewing acts of government. The anticipated legislation would declare that certain matters related to all three categories would be "injusticiable." "Determining legislative norms for judicial restraint or for injusticiability has the virtually built-in flaw of restricting judicial review in circumstances where everyone agrees there is no justification to do so, above all, where individual rights are concerned," wrote Mazuz. He was saying that such a law would have to be formulated in a general way that could not take into account the subtleties of individual cases. Mazuz added that there should indeed be a public debate on the extent of judicial review exercised by the High Court and that through his representatives, he had frequently told the court it should not intervene in certain subjects, especially relating to military matters and foreign affairs. But, he stated that this should not be done by law. "The attorney-general disagrees with the use of legislation to restrict the right of the court to deal with certain matters," he wrote. "Legislation is not the right way to handle the issue." Mazuz also said he had informed Friedmann of his opinion a few months ago and given him a position paper detailing his views and the reasons for them.