• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Government to Continue advancing Overhaul Legislation amidst Protests

Feb 26, 2023

Even though thousands of people came out to protest against the judicial overhaul plans of the government on Saturday evening, the coalition has no plans of backing down.

On Sunday, they are expected to continue taking the legislation forward at full speed, as the next Knesset votes on the legislation are scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

The proposals

The hard-right coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in less than two months ago and since then, they have given priority to the proposals aimed at transforming the justice system.

The head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset, MK Simcha Rothman and Yariv Levin, the Justice Minister, are spearheading the campaign.

Reports said that Rothman was going to bring the ‘override’ bill for discussion on Sunday morning in his committee, which has already cleared a preliminary reading in the previous week.

The bill has been passed as Basic Law: Override, which would give the Knesset the power to approve any law without requiring any judicial oversight.

Laws that are not immune to judicial oversight will only be struck down if all 15 High Court justices agree to do so.

Last week, the bill had had a preliminary reading in the plenum and received approval. Now, the committee is preparing for its first reading.

More discussions

It was reported that the committee was also planning on discussing a second version of the law, which would not allow any laws to be struck down by the High Court.

However, the court would have the authority of publishing a non-binding declaration about it contradicting one of the Basic Laws, which would send the legislation back to the Knesset for review.

Reports have also indicated that the coalition also plans to advance another legislation this week, which would restrict the circumstances in which a serving prime minister’s recusal can be ordered.

This bill is expected to have a preliminary reading on Wednesday.

More protests

There will also be nationwide protests taking place on Wednesday, as organizers have declared it to be a ‘day of struggle’ all over Israel.

While they have not announced concrete plans as yet, they are expected to be involved in different acts of disruption around the country, including blocking roads and more.

The plans of coalition have resulted in huge protests and there have also been warnings of considerable social and economic damage from prominent public figures.

These include business leaders, economists, jurists, reservists from leading military units and high-tech entrepreneurs.

There had been massive protests on Saturday evening against the government’s plans, with estimates indicating about 130,000 to 160,000 protestors in Tel Aviv and more around the country.

According to organizers, the rallies had seen attendance of 300,000 people, which makes them the largest demonstrations to have taken place as yet.

After the main Tel Aviv rally came to an end, the protestors had marched towards the Ayalon Highway and there had been clashes with the police, who had tried to block them.

The road was blocked for hours after some protestors set wooden planks and tires on fire.

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