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Israel – judicial reform. Demonstrations in Israeli courts against the planned changes, the president of the Supreme Court comments

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Protests against the government’s plans to change the justice system took place outside the courts of Israel on Thursday. Hundreds of lawyers, former judges and members of the legal profession believe that the changes proposed by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu will weaken the judiciary. The president of the Israeli Supreme Court also spoke on this issue.

The leaders of the protest against changes in the judiciary wrote in a statement to the media that its “aim is to show the public that changes in the system mean de facto destruction of the judiciary”.

During the demonstration in Tel Aviv, participants carried banners, including with the slogan “Politicians without control will also turn against us” – reported the daily “Haaretz”.

The proposed reform was also criticized by the president of the Supreme Court Israel Ester Hajut, in whose opinion it is an attack on the judiciary. “This is not a plan to fix the judicial system, but a plan to tear it down,” she said, quoted by Reuters.

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Israel’s Supreme Court RONEN ZVULUN / Reuters / Forum

Hajut assessed that this would be a “death blow” to the independence of judges and their ability to serve society. – The sense of this plan is therefore to change the democratic identity of the country beyond recognition – she added.

Justice system reform plan

The protest is directed against the justice system reform plan presented by Justice Minister Jariv Lewin. It assumes i.a. increasing government control over the election process for Supreme Court judges, as well as the ability to overturn Supreme Court rulings by a majority of 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament (Knesset).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuPAP/EPA/AMIR COHEN/POOL

On Thursday, a letter was published in which all former Israeli prosecutors general spoke out against the reform. They warn that the new law will transform the court “from an independent institution into a quasi-political body.”

As reported by the daily Israel Hayom, the American rating company S&P warns that the announced reform may lead to a downgrade of the country’s economic rating. “If the announced changes in the judiciary system weaken the existing institutional arrangements, this may create a negative risk for the rating in the future,” said Maxim Rybnikov of S&P, quoted by “IH”.

Main photo source: RONEN ZVULUN / Reuters / Forum



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