IDI Praises MK Ayelet Shaked: Time to Reduce Private Legislation

The Israel Democracy Institute praises Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who at the Israel Bar Association conference in Tel Aviv on Aug. 31 railed against overregulation and over-legislation (see more).

According IDI data, Israel is the record holder in private member legislation among 12 countries evaluated in a comparative study over multiple years; these countries did not include the United States.

Between 2000 and 2010, more than 12,000 bills were presented, compared to Finland, where 1,600 were presented, Great Britain, which had some 900, and Denmark with only 155. The study found that the phenomenon of private member bills is only getting worse. In less than a year and a half, since the start of the current Knesset, more than 3,200 bills were presented, compared to 2,921 at the start of the previous Knesset.

"The inflation of private member bills cheapens the work of the Knesset and contributes to bringing the public's trust in their elected officials to an unprecedented new low,” said IDI President Yohanan Plesner. “The IDI is working together with MKs from the coalition and the opposition to draft a plan that will limit each MK to four private-member bills a year; that will require MKs to obtain a professional endorsement with every bill; will strengthen the Knesset's oversight of the government by fitting and synergizing Knesset committees to government ministries; will form subcommittees on oversight; will shorten the time allotted to respond to parliamentary inquiries; sanction ministers who do not respond to such inquiries; and add more time for answering such questions in the plenum.”

Plesner continued, “There is no doubt that the work of the Knesset requires reforms and new thinking in order to restore the public's trust and create effective tools for legislating and overseeing the work of the government.”

To learn more about IDI’s research (in Hebrew), click here>>