All Israel

Israel’s High Court strikes down controversial Reasonableness Law in historic ruling

Eight of the court’s 15 justices voted against the law

Israel’s High Court of Justice voted to strike down the Reasonableness Law with 8 justices in favor and 7 against, in a historic wartime ruling that threatens to tear apart Israel's society amid the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.

The decision marks the first time in Israeli history that the nation’s Supreme Court struck down a law with the status of a quasi-constitutional Basic Law, determining the precedent that the court now possesses the authority to do so.

Twelve of the court justices ruled that the court, in principle, has the authority to strike down a Basic Law.

The court announced the decision on Monday evening after Israel's Channel 12 news reported a leak several days prior that the 15-judge panel was deeply divided on the issue.

The Reasonableness Standard Law was the first part of the government’s controversial judicial reform plan, passed into law in July.

The judicial reforms, first unveiled by Justice Minister Yariv Levin in January, immediately became a major point of contention, giving rise to large, state-wide protests that began the weekend after the reforms were announced.

Regarding the highly controversial timing of the decision during the ongoing war, former High Court President Esther Hayut stressed in a written decision that she saw it as the court's duty to vote on controversial issues even during such times.

“This is even more true when this regards issues that touch on the elemental markers of the identity of the State of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State.”

The leaders of the groups that organized the months-long protests against the law celebrated the court decision as a victory for democracy.

In contrast, representatives of the government and several ministers blasted the court for the decision, especially its timing.

“It is saddening that the High Court chose to bring a verdict regarding the heart of the societal controversy in Israel precisely when IDF soldiers from the right and the left are fighting and risking their lives in the ground campaign,” the Likud party said in a statement.

“The court’s decision is against the will of the people for unity, especially during wartime,” the party added.

Israeli Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana reiterated his stance that the High Court lacks the authority to cancel basic laws, adding, “What is even more obvious is that we cannot engage in this as long as the war is in progress.”

Levin, one of the reform's main architects, said the timing of the verdict was “the opposite of the spirit of unity required these days for the success of our fighters on the front,” and called it “unparalleled in any Western democracy.”

He added that the verdict that no basic law could be enacted without the court’s approval takes away the basic rights and the voice of millions of citizens.

Levin stressed that even though the decision won’t stay in the coalition’s hands, “we will continue to act with restraint and responsibility.”

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

Popular Articles
All Israel
Receive latest news & updates from All Israel
    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
    Latest Stories