Israel: Talks ongoing between government and opposition parties over judicial reform compromise

Thursday, April 20, 2023 | Tag Cloud

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Facilitated by President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, talks are ongoing between the government and opposition parties to find a way forward on judicial reform that would be palatable to the wider Israeli public and would stem the massive nationwide protests against the government’s proposals, Israel National News (INN) reported Thursday morning.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing far-right coalition wants to bring in judicial reform that many Israelis see as a power grab and a means by which to weaken the ability of judges to strike down bad laws enacted by self-interested politicians.

In the most recent round of talks held at the President’s residence to find a way forward, the governing coalition and the opposition discussed the contentious issue of how many justices on the Supreme Court could make up a majority to overturn a bill passed by the Knesset: the government says no fewer than 12 out of the 15 justices must be in agreement.

However, the Yesh Atid opposition party led by former prime minister Yair Lapid wants nine out of 15 Supreme Court justices to be in agreement on overturning a Knesset law; the National Unity Party led by former Defense Minister Benny Gantz is asking for 10.

Last month, the government’s notoriously unpopular Override Clause bill passed the first out of the requisite three Knesset readings. The bill provides that a miniscule majority of 61 members of the Knesset out of 120 can reinstate any law struck down by the Supreme Court.

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