On 28 February 2023, the Knesset’s Special Committee for Youth Affairs chaired by MK Naama Lazimi (Labor Party) held a discussion on the topic: Implications of Elimination of Reasonableness Standard on Environmental Protection and Public Health.
Dr. Attorney Shelly Kamin-Friedman attended the discussion, where she presented the position paper she wrote for Zulat: Consequences of Regime Revolution on Public Health. Following are the highlights of her remarks:
The court’s authority to discuss reasonableness is the only tool at the disposal of a citizen who feels that a government decision harms his health. One such example is the decision to spray Bedouin crops with dangerous pesticides in the Negev, which was stopped after the Health Ministry concluded that it caused unreasonable harm to the Bedouin population’s health. Another example is former internal security minister Amir Ohana’s decision to withhold Covid vaccines from prison inmates. We are required to file court petitions to make sure that laws are implemented reasonably.
Moreover, the reasonableness standard correlates with public trust. Even when petitions are rejected, the very fact that the issue was discussed by the court increases the public’s trust. Research shows that the higher the trust, the more the public is willing to cooperate. During the Covid pandemic there were many decisions that required the cooperation of the public.
A final argument concerns the harm inflicted on solidarity and social cohesion, which are a basic condition for public health, as a result of the public controversy about the reasonableness standard.
Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):