The appointment of conservative judges to the court, and even the enactment of a certain version of the override clause, will not bring about the destruction of the Supreme Court, and will certainly not turn Israel into a totalitarian state. However, the continued attacks on the Court, and the potential passage of the most extreme proposals pose a serious challenge to Israeli democracy.
The majority of Israelis think that the Supreme Court should retain its ability to strike down legislation that contravenes the country’s Basic Laws – and only 16% said that the Judicial Selection Committee that appoints justices should be politicized by increasing the number of elected officials serving on it.
A small majority agree that the Supreme Court should have the power to overturn laws passed by the Knesset when democratic principles are contradicted, while a high rate of the Israeli public, primarily from the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox, believe that the selection of judges in Israel is based on political considerations.
With Prime Minister Netanyahu's groundbreaking trial is set to commence next week, Professor Yuval Shany, IDI's Vice President of Research, and Dr. Amir Fuchs, the head of the Defending Democratic Values Program, briefed journalists on how the court process will proceed and the long-term legal implications of trying a sitting prime minister.
Israel is not the only country in which the court system has been curtailed, or had its activity modified, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries are taking such measures, while at the same time striving to refrain from harming citizen's basic right of available access to courts.
Included are several examples from around the world.
Israel’s judiciary is under assault, according to some, or experiencing a necessary corrective to rampant judicial activism, according to others. Dr. Amir Fuchs, legal expert and the head of the Defending Democratic Values project at the Israel Democracy Institute, walks through the Knesset’s attempt to change the judiciary and the balance of powers in Israel, what’s behind it, and what it means for the country.
Are home demolitions legal? And are they effective? Both IDF commanders and Israeli Supreme Court judges have raised doubts on the matter. In an op-ed published by The Jerusalem Post, IDI's Tal Mimran says the time has come to reevaluate Israeli policy.
Following the advancement of an amendment to a Basic Law on the issue of removing the authority of the Supreme Court to intervene in decisions of the Central Elections Committee to cancel candidates or lists from participating in elections, the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) sent out a sharply worded policy paper opposing this proposal.
The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) spoke out strongly against the graffiti painted on the Supreme Court building, discovered Nov. 4, and said it is a direct result of the slander that has been recently put out there against the court system by Israeli public activists. IDI stressed that it is the job of the Prime Minister and the parties to defend the rule of law.
Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer presents a contrasting view to Prof. Yedidia Stern's assertion that the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling on the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service in Israel is "<a href="http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/articles/judicial-activism-at-its-height">Judicial Activism at its Height</a>."
The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Tal Law, after 30 years of avoiding the issue of the exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jews from military service, is an expression of judicial activism that illustrates the transformation that the Israeli Supreme Court has undergone in the last generation. In this op-ed, originally published in Hebrew in <em>Makor Rishon</em>, IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern asserts that the Court went too far in this ruling and that its activism is hard to justify.
Law, Culture, Ethics, Politics
Image and Reality
Image and Reality
Facing Painful Choices Law and Halakhah in Israeli Society