On 20 February 2023, Prof. Eyal Gross, a member of Zulat’s Steering Committee, attended a session of the Knesset Constitution Committee, which is drafting the regime revolution laws. He voiced his and Zulat’s opposition to the proposed changes:
“I hear here today that Canada and Finland also have an override clause. If that is the case, then I propose to adopt the entire Canadian Bill of Rights. It talks about equality as an explicit right, about Canada as a multicultural country, which means a country of all its citizens, about separation of church and state, civil marriage, and equality between French and English, whose equivalent here would be Arabic and Hebrew. Let’s embrace the entire Canadian Bill of Rights! There are only two countries in the world with an override clause, but they are very different from ours. Do you want Canada? Then let’s bring it all!
“What you bring is one component from each country, which is not the best that country has to offer and is criticized there, too. You single out a legal component from another country without the constitutional context and structure. Let’s legislate a full human rights law before we override human rights! In a letter published on their behalf, Canada’s Supreme Court judges stated that there is no comparison between what you are doing here and their own override clause. A former Canadian Justice Minister said the clause was only invoked by the provinces and the accepted agreement is that it will not be invoked by the federal goverment. What Committee Chairman Rotman is doing clearly is cherry-picking, choosing only the parts that suit him.
“In addition to the fact that Israel, unlike Canada, does not have a written entrenched constitution, there is also the question of context. You want the Supreme Court to be appointed by the coalition; to be able to invalidate a law only unanimously, which is unparalleled anywhere in the world; even if it succeeds to invalidate a law, its ruling would come up against the override clause, which is also unparalleled anywhere in the world, except for two countries that are very different from ours. You also want to limit judicial review of the executive branch by abolishing the reasonableness standard and declare non-binding the opinion of the legal counsels of government ministries, who would be appointed on a political basis.
“The end result will be a government with unlimited power. The idea that a government’s power should be limited so as not to harm the citizens was not invented by Supreme Court justices Aharon Barak, Dorit Beinisch, or Esther Hayut, nor is it a matter of Right or Left. These principles were set more than 200 years ago as the foundation of modern democracies. What is happening now should bother every citizen in this country. Today they will violate one person’s rights and tomorrow it will be another person’s turn.”
Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):