Press Release

Israel Democracy Institute Statement on Israel's Supreme Court Ruling


The Israel Democracy Institute issued the following statement on the High Court of Justice’s decision to strike down the amendment passed in July to the Basic Law: The Judiciary, eliminating the Court’s use of the Reasonableness Standard

The Supreme Court ruling on the cancelation of the reasonableness standard is an important and precedent-setting legal decision that will be studied and examined in the weeks and months to come. Now more than ever, while our sons and daughters are on the front lines fighting for their country, it is critical that they know that Israeli democracy is strong and unassailable.

The decision, against the backdrop of the difficult events of the past several months, provides further evidence for all Israelis—both those who agree with the Court's decision and those who disagree with it—that Israel, a divided and threatened democracy, must adopt a constitutional framework, grounded in the broadest possible public consensus, defining both the power of the Knesset to pass constitutional changes and the power of the Court to review them. Defining the separation of powers is no mere theoretical exercise but an existential imperative for our democracy.

Significantly, while the court ruled 8-7 to strike down the specific amendment, a significant majority of at least 12 out of 15 justices determined that the Supreme Court has the authority to perform judicial review over Basic Laws when they violate the basic principles of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. The debate between the majority and the minority opinion was restricted to the question of whether the specific amendment in question crossed this threshold.

Click here to read an explainer on the Reasonableness amendment and the Supreme Court hearing that took place earlier this year.