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In new showdown, Israel's Supreme Court issues warning over Levin's refusal to convene judicial selection committee

Israeli Minister of Justice Yariv attends the Mida conference at the Begin Heritage Center, in Jerusalem, September 5, 2023. (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

The Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem issued a legal warning on Thursday against Justice Minister Yariv Levin for his refusal to convene the Judicial Selection Committee.

In their injunction, Justices Anat Baron, Yael Willner and David Mintz stated that Levin must “provide a reason why… he will not exercise his authority… to convene the committee to elect judges without delay.”

The committee is crucial for the Israeli legal system as it has the authority to appoint all justices in the Jewish state.

Levin who is the chief architect behind the Netanyahu government’s controversial judicial overhaul, seeks to dramatically reduce the powers of the judiciary. In order to accomplish this goal, the justice minister has sought to change the composition of the committee before officially convening it.

Earlier this week, for the first time, all 15 Supreme Court judges held a crucial hearing on arguments for and against the idea of striking down the Reasonableness Standard Law, which is a Basic Law.

Law and Justice Committee Chairperson Simcha Rothman, a close ally of Levin, attacked the judiciary for being “a privileged elite [the justices of the High Court]" who "will not be able to protect rights in the long term.” 

An unnamed official affiliated with the justice minister, rejected the court’s injunction, arguing that it is “once again, deviating from what is accepted, once again not holding a preliminary hearing.”

In addition, the source accused the court of recklessly abusing its power.

“Precisely at a time when calmness and responsibility on the part of all the branches of government is needed, the system that is supposed to be the most restrained of all demonstrates a reckless and irresponsible use of legal power,” according to the statement. 

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

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