This position paper was submitted to the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee ahead of a discussion on the proposed Basic Law: Rights in Criminal Proceedings. The proposal (submitted by the Justice Ministry) passed its first reading on 3 March 2022. Subsequently, a series of discussions was set to prepare the proposal for second and third readings. Zulat’s representatives attended the first discussion on 10 May 2022.
Zulat’s position paper was compiled by a steering committee composed of Dr. Rawia Aburabia, Prof. Aeyal Gross, Prof. Naomi Hazan, Prof. Frances Raday, and Dr. Adam Shinar, while the suggested amendments to the law were drafted by Attorney Eitay Mack.
We propose a number of amendments to the law in order to strengthen and anchor the right to equality, based on the concept that enshrining this right in all relevant laws, especially in a Basic Law, is essential to the viability of a democratic regime in Israel. The right to equality is recognized as “first among equals” and a key right, without which all other human rights have no meaning or raison d’etre. The right to equality is particularly important in criminal proceedings due to the fact that the balance of power between the state and the defendant is inherently skewed.