The central tenets of Herzog’s People’s Framework for judicial compromise

President Isaac Herzog presents his proposed alternative framework on the judicial overhaul, on March 15, 2023 (Video screenshot)
President Isaac Herzog presents his proposed alternative framework on the judicial overhaul, on March 15, 2023 (Video screenshot)

The  central tenets of President Isaac Herzog’s compromise plan, as presented in a newly launched website (Hebrew), include:

  • Changes to the Judicial Appointments Committee, as demanded by the shakeup’s architects, with judges on the panel no longer able to veto candidates as they can today. However, the coalition will also not enjoy its desired automatic majority on the committee. The panel would be made up of four coalition members, two opposition members, three judges and two public representatives appointed by the justice minister in agreement with the Supreme Court president. A majority of 7 of 11 members will be required to confirm an appointment.
  • Changes to Israel’s quasi-constiutional Basic Laws will require four readings at the Knesset plenum, with the fourth requiring 80 MKs in favor. Any changes to election laws would require 80 MKs in all four readings. Existing Basic Laws will be reaffirmed. Once approved, the Supreme Court will not be allowed to review Basic Laws.
  • The rights to equality, free speech and protest will be set into Basic Laws.
  • When reviewing legislation (beyond Basic Laws), the High Court will convene with 11 judges, with 8 judges needed to overturn a law.
  • The High Court will not be able to strike down ministerial appointments or governmental policy decisions based on “unreasonableness.” However, the clause can still be used when reviewing the actions of public authorities.
  • Legal advisers to the government will not become personal appointments. However, a minister will have the right to replace his legal counsel based on ongoing, significant disagreements that harm their ability to work together. A legal counsel’s position will continue to obligate the government.

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