MK Shaked Vows to Check Courts’ Power

December 4, 2014  

The judicial branch in Israel is more powerful than the executive and legislative ones, Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked stated Thursday at an Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv – and she vowed to do something about it in the next Knesset.

“My world view and that of many other MKs from various factions is that there is no balance at present between the legislative and judicial branches, and that the judicial branch enjoys superiority to the legislative and executive ones,” she explained.

As a young parliamentarian, she added, “I encounter the judicial system’s superiority over the legislative and executive branches on a daily basis. The branches that are elected by the public are unable to implement their purpose and the will of the people.”

She noted that the High Court had come close to annulling laws that were critical for the country’s survival.

For instance, she said, the Knesset passed the Citizenship Law in 2002 with the aim of making it more difficult for non-Israeli Arabs to receive citizenship through marrying Israeli Arabs.

“The year 2002 was the peak of the Second Intifada and there was a real danger in the entry of 130,000 Palestinians into Israel,” she explained – yet the High Court almost annulled the law, voting 6 to 5 to uphold it.

In order to ameliorate the situation, she stated, Jewish Home will attempt to pass the Basic Law: Legislation in the next Knesset. This law would leave the High Court with the authority to annul a law, but will also allow the Knesset to override this annulment with a majority of 61 or 65 MKs, for a period of four years.

Another problem, she declaimed, is the homogeneous character of the Supreme Court, and that “judges can veto the appointment of a judge whom they are not interested in.” A change in the method of appointing judges is therefore needed, Shaked stated.

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