Likud Firmly Supports New Proposal for Controlling the Judicial Selection Committee3 min read
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party voted in favor of a new proposal during a Knesset faction meeting, which was aimed at granting control to the coalition over the Judicial Selection Committee.
The said committee is responsible for appointing judges and the proposal is part of the persistent push of the coalition to reduce the powers of the High Court of Justice and overhaul the judiciary.
The voting happened less than a day after a new outline had been agreed between members of the coalition of altering the process of selecting judges.
The proposal in question had been put forward by MK Simcha Rothman, who is a member of the Religious Zionism party, and the head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee of the Knesset.
They have vowed to pass the legislation in question before the Passover in the beginning of the next month when Knesset will go on the break.
The rest of the proposals have been delayed as negotiations are expected to take place over them with the opposition.
However, leaders of the opposition have rejected the possibility of any talks on the proposals if the government passes the judicial legislation, as they have termed it as the end of democracy in Israel.
The voting for the legislation was 34-4 and the Likud party claimed that the bill would put an end to an undemocratic state where the judges would appoint themselves and it would restore balance to the Judicial Selection Committee.
As a matter of fact, the current selection committee gives the judiciary as well as coalition representatives veto power over the High Court appointments.
On Tuesday, the updated proposal will be presented to the committee headed by Rothman in order to prep it for its second and third reading in the Knesset.
During the tenure of the coalition, there are several appointments to the Supreme Court that will open up and it will be able to fully control two of them.
As for the third appointment, the coalition would require the support of one member of the opposition and for the fourth appointment, they would need the support of a judicial representative.
The process of the Supreme Court presidency appointment would also change because of the proposal and this will give the coalition the power to select the chief justice.
This would further boost the coalition’s control over the selection of judges in the High Court and could potentially give it complete control over appointments made in lower courts.
The amendments were presented as ‘softening’ because there had been intense criticism from the opposition and the public.
However, national protest organizers and opposition parties have rejected the proposal swiftly because they claim that the coalition is trying to mislead the public into thinking they have moderated the judicial overhaul plan.
The deputy attorney general also asserted that the amended proposal did not address the issue of the damage that the legislation would inflict on the court’s independence.