The people’s movement and the court’s endorsement of the protesters have renewed Israeli society’s desire for greater collective responsibility, awareness about institutional strengths, and democratic participation of all.
In the middle of the war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government faced significant defeat in the Supreme Court of Israel when the latter overruled the highly disputed reasonableness limitation law on 1 January. It was a historic decision and unprecedented intervention by the Israeli judiciary to assert that it will continue to have the right of judicial review over government laws, legislative bills, and ministerial decisions.
Netanyahu’s government, particularly Minister of Justice Yariv Levin, brought a bill against the judicial review system (called the reasonableness clause in the Israeli polity), which barred all courts of Israel from reviewing any law passed in parliament as well as all ministerial decisions of the government in July 2023.
The opposition and the popular protest movement in Israel deeply contested the reasonableness limitation law since it would have effectively ended all checks and balances, granting complete powers to the executive and legislature. Simply put, the Israeli government did not want to be under legal scrutiny. The simple majority in parliament could decide on any matter, and the courts could not overrule it. This law was part of the larger judicial reform agenda that the government of Netanyahu intended to bring into force from 4 January.
Published in: The Print
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