The autonomy of the judiciaries of both India and Israel are coming under attack, as the more religious and politically conservative elements of each country push back against them.
Khinvraj Jangid, Associate Professor & Director of Jindal Center for Israel Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
On March 26th, when Israel was upended by a national strike, Nageswara Rao, a former judge on India’s Supreme Court was in Jerusalem speaking at an emergency conference on threats to judicial independence.
He used the moment to speak out in support of those marching and protesting across Israel against the government’s planned judicial overhaul which, if successful would neuter Israel’s Supreme Court and grant more power to the government, which prompted the strike.
The “appointment of judges is an essential ingredient for independence of judiciary,” he told those attending the conference sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute.
This year, both India and Israel are celebrating the milestone of 75 years of independence.
Both are multiparty parliamentary democracies that boast individual rights, a free press, and active civil society. Both have populations that span multiple faiths, cultures and modern as well as conservative outlooks. The secular-religious divide in both nations is acute.
There are some fundamental differences between the two countries’ legal systems. India, unlike Israel, has a constitution, and it defines itself as a secular, socialist democratic republic.
But interestingly, the autonomy of the judiciaries of both countries are coming under attack, as the more religious and politically conservative elements of each country push back against them.
Published in: HAARETZ
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