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Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:24 PM

Bill aims to salvage laws struck down by Israel's Supreme Court

If passed it would make it easier for Knesset to sidestep rulings by the High Court that a law is unconstitutional.
By Tomer Zarchin

A proposed new bill would allow the Knesset to reinstate a law that had been struck down by the High Court of Justice with a majority of only 65 votes.

The draft was published by the Justice Ministry late last week. Its framers hope it will eventually be presented as the long-sought Basic Law on Legislation. It contains a clause that would makes it easier for the Knesset to sidestep a ruling by the High Court that a law is unconstitutional.

This bill differs from one recommended by a public commission convened in 2004 to study the issue. That committee recommended a majority of at least 70 MKs to reinstate a law that had been struck down by the High Court of Justice. It also recommended that even if the law was revived, it could be extended only once for a period of five years. The recommendation was accepted by then Supreme Court President Justice Aharon Barak.

This bill, which is still at the memorandum stage (in which the public can comment on it before is officially published as a bill by the Justice Ministry ), as framed by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, stipulates that a law would remain on the books despite the High Court ruling, if the Knesset voted to do so by a majority of 65. It could also be extended every five years indefinitely. Supreme Court President Asher Grunis did not cooperate with Neeman on the framing of the memorandum.

remainder: http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/bill-aims-to-salvage-laws-struck-down-by-israel-s-supreme-court-1.423171

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Reply Bill aims to salvage laws struck down by Israel's Supreme Court (Original post)
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 OP
Ken Burch Apr 2012 #1
holdencaufield Apr 2012 #2
Ken Burch Apr 2012 #3
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 #4
Scurrilous Apr 2012 #5
Jefferson23 Apr 2012 #6

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 11:38 PM

1. If this passes, all of Palestine would be permanently covered by settlements

 

Settlers could attack Palestinians and steal their land without restraint, leaving the Palestinians with no legal recourse at all.
The remaining Palestinian olive groves would likely all be stolen or destroyed.

It would be a triumph for settler fascism and the death of anything progressive at all in Israel.

I beg all pro-fairness and justice Israelis and all those in the pro-Israel community to oppose this bill. It would permanently disgrace your country to pass it and no possible good results could ever come of it.

Israel would not be Israel anymore if this passed.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 12:02 AM

2. "Israel would not be Israel anymore if this passed."

 

OMG -- people might find things about which to demonize Israel. It could change everything!

Maybe it's my cynical side, but I'm thinking maybe the continuation of Israel in it's present form isn't the primary cause for concern here.

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Response to holdencaufield (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 01:29 AM

3. With me, actually it is.

 

One of the things I admire about the place is that the Supreme Court has stopped the government, at least occasionally, from doing some of the uglier and more pointlessly vindictive things it wanted to do to Palestinian civilians. Why should I regard it as no big deal if the court is unable to do that anymore?

Are there really any things that the court stopped that a decent human being would not agree were wrong?

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 09:41 AM

4. Knesset Speaker backs bill to overturn laws struck down by Israel's Supreme Court

Reuven Rivlin says that the new legislation granting the Knesset authority over the Supreme Court is 'inevitable,' while Defense Minister Barak is 'determined' to stop it.

By Jonathan Lis and Ophir Bar-Zohar

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced Sunday that he intends on promoting a new basic law, proposed by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, which would allow the Knesset to reinstate a law that was struck down by Israel's Supreme Court.

“This legislation is unavoidable,” said Rivlin, who disclosed plans to meet with Supreme Court President Asher Grunis to discuss the initiative.

The proposed law allows for the Knesset, with a majority vote of at least 65 MKs, to overturn a Supreme Court decision declaring a law unconstitutional. During the weekend a first draft of the law was published, after previous versions had been rejected. The law is meant to introduce a system of checks and balances between the Supreme Court and the Knesset.

“The Knesset and the Supreme Court have been on a chronic collision course for 20 years, when the Knesset spilled into the judicial system in response to judicial activism," Rivlin said.

“If we had created this law back then, we would have prevented the exchange of blows between the Knesset and the Supreme Court, whose only victim is Israeli democracy,” explained Rivlin.

“We must agree today, twenty years too late, on wording that will clearly define the boundaries of each entity. It is a mutual interest,” said Rivlin.

Neeman’s proposed law has received cross-party opposition after being published in Haaretz on Sunday morning. Defense Minister Ehud Barak claimed that he is opposed to the law and determined to act against it.

Meretz party leader MK Zahava Galon said that she will initiate a special discussion during the recess to discuss the Justice Minister’s proposal.

“Neeman apparently read his Haggadah incorrectly. He did not understand the meaning of the holiday of freedom when he proposed this law, said to protect freedom, but which would actually strip us of it.”

“The Supreme Court rejects laws that harm human rights. The Justice Minister proposes giving unlimited power to the destructive majority in the Knesset to cause that harm, and so we must nip this law in the bud,” said Galon.

MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) also condemned the law. "It is another joke being proposed by the Ministry of Justice and its minister. Behind this law is a policy meant to harm one of the cornerstones of Israeli democracy – the Supreme Court. This foolish idea should be buried before it can poison the Israeli public sphere.”

The draft was published by the Justice Ministry late last week. Its framers hope it will eventually be presented as the long-sought Basic Law on Legislation. It contains a clause that would makes it easier for the Knesset to sidestep High Court rulings declaring laws unconstitutional.

Neeman’s proposed bill will grant the Knesset the means to overturn a Surpeme Court decision declaring a law unconstitutional. The Knesset would be allowed to overturn such a decision with a majority of at least 65 MKs, and have the power to renew the law every five years, for an unlimited amount of time.

This bill differs from one recommended by a public commission convened in 2004 to study the issue. That committee recommended a majority of at least 70 MKs to reinstate a law that had been struck down by the High Court of Justice. It also recommended that even if the law was revived, it could be extended only once for a period of five years. The recommendation was accepted by then Supreme Court President Justice Aharon Barak.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/knesset-speaker-backs-bill-to-overturn-laws-struck-down-by-israel-s-supreme-court-1.423266

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Apr 9, 2012, 11:55 AM

5. K & R

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 08:49 AM

6. Israeli Justice Ministry bypassing the High Court

The legal system and the relationship between the High Court and the Knesset are too precious to be turned into a political pawn.

Haaretz Editorial

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman has pulled out an old-new way to bypass the High Court of Justice. This happened just after the court ruled unconstitutional the law that lets yeshiva students defer army service. This ruling is threatening the stability of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition.

Now the Justice Ministry has published a preliminary draft of a bill that would become the Basic Law on Legislation. It would allow the Knesset, with the support of at least 65 MKs, to pass a law that has been struck down by the High Court.

The suspicion that the preliminary draft was tailored to the coalition's needs stems from the gap between the bill's current version and the version recommended by a committee that Neeman himself chaired in 2004. That committee advised that 70 MKs be required to pass a bill that has been struck down by the High Court.

Hopefully, lawmakers this time won't allow their constituencies' narrow interests to prevent the rehabilitation of the relationship between the people and their government. Reducing the number of MKs to 65 from 70 undermines the contribution the new Basic Law on Legislation would make to Israeli democracy.

The justice minister must explain to the people what has changed since he recommended that at least 70 MKs be needed to override the High Court. Even that number should be higher - to prevent unconstitutional legislation or infringements of human rights.

The justice minister needs to offer the public an expiation to his decision to reduce the number of MKs that are required to relegislate a law. Another clause in the preliminary draft would allow the law to be extended every five years indefinitely. Can Neeman promise that this same relatively small majority won't do exactly that? In certain cases this could annul High Court rulings that were intended to protect citizens from the tyranny of the majority and unfair rulings by the executive branch.

The legal system and the relationship between the High Court and the Knesset are too precious to be turned into a political pawn. Since this is not the first time Neeman has tried to damage this delicate fabric, the prime minister must tell Neeman to start a dialogue with High Court President Asher Grunis, who was not privy to discussions on the draft. The prime minister must do this before he puts his proposal on the cabinet table and submits it to the Knesset.

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israeli-justice-ministry-bypassing-the-high-court-1.423492

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