Israel: Knesset passes first reading of controversial bill designed to curtail judicial review of legislation

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Despite massive widespread protests by Israeli citizens, and ignoring the strong opposition of the country’s President Isaac Herzog, Israel’s parliament on Tuesday approved the first reading of a highly controversial bill that would restrict judicial review of legislation and consolidate power in the hands of the new far-right government, i24 News reports.

The first of three, Tuesday’s reading was approved along party lines, with 61 voting in favor of the bill, and 52 voting against it, i24 News said.

If passed, the bill would allow Israeli lawmakers to add an override clause to prevent specific laws from being reviewed by judges with a majority of 61 votes out of 120 as long as the governing coalition remains in power.

The bill would also require approval by 80 percent of Supreme Court justices to overturn a law from judicial review with a majority of 61 out of 120 seats, in effect for as long as the coalition remains in power.

The bill now passes to Israel’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee for revisions before the second and third readings are held, usually fairly quickly, i24 News said.

While much of the country and all of the opposition parties are in uproar, analysts say it is unlikely the legislation – which President Herzog said “undermines our foundations” – will be halted, i24 News reports.

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