For the ninth consecutive week, new demonstrations took place this Saturday in Israel against the reform of justice. The most important was held in Tel Aviv.
“Democracy, democracy! chanted protesters gathered in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and more than 90 locations across the country. In all, they were 250,000 to take to the streets, report the media. The object of their anger remains the same: a law that the ruling right-wing and far-right coalition is trying to pass, which would notably give the government greater influence over the selection of judges and limit the prerogatives of the Court supreme. The announcement of the text, at the beginning of January, provoked massive demonstrations.
” In the space of two months, this government is ruining almost everything, alarmed Amnon, a young architect, at the microphone of our special correspondent in Tel Aviv, Michael Paul. Many are here today to say that they want to save democracy and that they do not intend to let it go. But this week, the sacking of the Palestinian town of Huwara in the northern West Bank and the support given by part of the coalition to these abuses, were also at the center of the speeches. ” It takes us back to 39-40 years and I don’t want my country to be the same “says Isabelle.
The demonstrations, which generally denounce the policy of the government, do not seem for the moment to influence the determination of Benyamin Netanyahu and his majority. The opposition, including its centrist leader Yair Lapid, has repeatedly accused the Prime Minister of wanting to serve his personal interests with this reform. Benyamin Netanyahu being himself tried for corruption in several cases, his critics believe that in the event of adoption of the reform, he could use it to break a possible judgment coming to condemn him.
Opponents of the reform have announced that next Thursday will be a day of resistance to the dictatorship.
What does this justice reform contain?
With this bill, the government wishes to review the powers of the Supreme Court. Thus, he wants to include a “notwithstanding” clause that would allow Parliament, with a simple majority vote, to overturn a Supreme Court decision.
The reform also proposes to remove lawyers from the panel responsible for appointing Supreme Court justices. Today, it is made up of a group of judges, deputies and lawyers from the bar, under the supervision of the Minister of Justice.
The government also wants to prevent judges from invoking the “reasonableness” of certain political decisions. A desire motivated by the decision of January 18 of the Court to invalidate the appointment of Arié Dery as Minister of the Interior and Health because of a conviction for tax evasion. The Supreme Court had deemed this appointment not “reasonable”, thus pushing the Prime Minister to dismiss the minister from office.
And finally, the government wants to reduce the influence of legal advisers in government departments because their recommendations are used by Supreme Court justices when ruling on the proper conduct of government. The Minister of Justice therefore wishes that they be clearly considered as non-binding opinions.