All Israel

Judicial reform reasonableness bill gets greenlight ahead of first Knesset plenum reading

Knesset Member Simcha Rothman, head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee leads a vote during a committee meeting on the planned judicial reform, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, July 4, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee voted on Tuesday in favor of the judicial reform reasonable bill, which will proceed to the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, for its first reading.

Committee head Simcha Rothman, one of the chief architects behind the government’s judicial reform, recently argued that the controversial bill “serves the democratic interest.” However, opponents argue that the amendment’s scope is too broad, thereby blocking any means of judicial review and removes a democratic check on the government.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich praised Rothman’s legal work and presented the bill as a corrective measure for the perceived politicization and selective enforcement of law, which has led to growing divisions within Israeli society.

"What is happening with the rule of law in Israel is the furthest thing from democracy," Smotrich said.

However, Prof. Yoav Dotan, a former dean of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is concerned about the new bill.

"The proposal is extremely problematic because you can easily classify any decision for a license for communication equipment, a visa to enter Israel, or an outline plan as a political level decision, even though it is not," warned Dotan.

Opposition lawmaker Yoav Segalovitz was even more blunt in his opposition to the controversial bill.  

"You are permitting legal corruption," stated Segalovitz.

Both proponents and opponents of the judicial reform accuse the other side of undermining Israeli democracy.

Meanwhile, the Knesset passed a law enabling appointed mayors to run for election without first taking the previously mandatory cooling off period of one full term. The new law is widely perceived as personally tailored to assist Boaz Yosef, the acting mayor of Tiberias, who is a political associate of Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party in Netanyahu's coalition government.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories