The High Court of Justice rejects the government’s request to push back the date for a crucial hearing on the reasonableness limitation law, the centerpiece legislation so far of the government’s judicial overhaul agenda.
The court says that since all 15 justices are hearing the case, the resulting “scheduling pressure” means it cannot agree to the request. The hearing is scheduled for September 12, as planned.
The court does, however, grant the government an extension to file its response to the petitions and sets the new deadline for this Friday.
Ilan Bombach, who is representing the government since the attorney general does not support its position, had requested the extension since he said it was impossible to respond to her lengthy filing in the few days remaining before the hearing.
He added that there was no reason the hearing could not be delayed by a month or more.
The law that was petitioned against prohibits the courts from reviewing government action using the standard of reasonableness, whereby it can determine that a decision was invalid because it was made without properly assessing key considerations, or using improper considerations.
The petitioners against the law argue that it could potentially undermine the independence of senior law enforcement agencies, since without the reasonableness standard it will be difficult to challenge arbitrary dismissals of officials.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara opposes the state’s position and in her submission to the court on yesterday called for it to strike down the law for undermining Israel’s democratic character.
Ministers and coalition MKs have argued that the law is necessary to stop the High Court from asserting its own worldview on government decisions and actions and says that the dismissal of senior law enforcement officials will still be subject to other tools in administrative law.