IBA condemns Israeli judicial reforms

The UK Law Gazette reports

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has condemned proposals by Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for legislation that will enable the Israeli parliament more easily to overturn decisions of the country’s Supreme Court. The proposals have already prompted mass protests in Tel Aviv.

The IBAHRI described the proposals as an ’affront to the rule of law’.

’This is a troubling departure from democratic norms, and we urge Mr Netanyahu and his cabinet to reverse this decision,’ said Anne Ramberg, IBAHRI co-chair and former secretary general of the Swedish Bar Association.

Under plans announced by Justice Minister Yariv Levin this month, a simple majority in the Knesset would have the power to annul Supreme Court decisions that strike down legislation found to be unconstitutional and give the government control over the appointment of judges. Aharon Barak, a former president of the Supreme Court of Israel, has likened the plans to attacks on judicial independence carried out by authoritarian governments in Hungary, Poland and Turkey.

IBAHRI co-chair Mark Stephens CBE said: ‘This plan crosses the democratic Rubicon and must not be allowed to stand. These proposals not only challenge the authority of Israel’s courts, but the very bedrock of the country’s democratic system and its constitutional commitment to the rule of law.’

Netanyahu this week accused critics of exaggerating the scale of the changes and said the draft law could be amended. ’When one says a minor correction would be the destruction of democracy, it is not only a false argument, it is also one that does not allow any understandings that should be reached in substantive discussions in the Israeli Knesset,’ he said in a video message.

Source: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/international-bar-condemns-israeli-judicial-reforms/5114829.article?utm_source=gazette_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Revealed%3a+Can+ChatGPT+pass+the+SQE%3f+%7c+Data+protection+%27binding+guidance%27+%7c+Disability+rights+campaigner+to+face+SDT_01%2f19%2f2023