President, chief justice criticize controversial Knesset bill
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President, chief justice criticize controversial Knesset bill

Law that would allow MKs to overturn Supreme Court decisions comes under fire at judicial swearing-in ceremony

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman (right), President Shimon Peres (center) and Supreme Court President Asher Grunis (second from the left) at a swearing-in ceremony for new judges in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman (right), President Shimon Peres (center) and Supreme Court President Asher Grunis (second from the left) at a swearing-in ceremony for new judges in Jerusalem. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

President Shimon Peres urged the government on Tuesday to use caution and responsibility when proposing constitutional legislation.

Speaking at a swearing-in ceremony for judges at the president’s residence, Peres said that constitutional legislation demands broad national consent, and that the government must follow that course. The president also said that everyone must cooperate to ensure that the legal system is not beholden to politics.

The president’s comments came two weeks after Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman proposed a bill which would allow lawmakers to reinstate — by a 65-member vote — laws that are struck down by the Supreme Court. There are 120 members of the Knesset.

Speaking at the same event, Supreme Court President Asher Grunis said that the proposed amendment raises major difficulties and advised a thorough discussion regarding the bill.

He criticized the manner in which Neeman published the ministry’s proposal on Passover eve, and said that a bill so important should have been reviewed in cooperation with the Supreme Court.

 

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