On 12 February 2023, President Yitzhak Herzog presented a compromise proposal about the government’s plan for a regime revolution. Zulat congratulates the Honorable President for enlisting in the effort to block the government’s move. Below is Zulat’s response to the main components of the President’s blueprint:
- Enacting Basic Law: Legislation, whereby Basic Laws would require a broad Knesset majority and four readings, and could not be overturned by the Supreme Court. Given that the government fully controls the Knesset, it would easily be able to pass Basic Laws that are personalized, fatally harm the principle of equality and the core of democracy, and legitimize corruption. In the absence of judicial review, it would be impossible to even try to impede such Basic Laws early in the legislative stage.
- Anchoring the Supreme Court’s authority to conduct judicial review of ordinary laws and enacting an override clause enabling the Knesset to invalidate laws. Likewise, the government would be able to enact any ordinary law it wishes, given that the override clause would abolish the Supreme Court’s ability to protect human and civil rights, the democratic system of government, and the rule of law.
- Changing the Judicial Selection Committee’s composition so that each branch of power is equally represented, and public representatives agreed upon by the Justice Minister and the Supreme Court President. The government would forever enjoy a constant majority in the committee, and even its MK members would be chosen from among the heads of coalition-controlled committees.
- Attaining broad consensus about judges’ use the reasonableness standard. Given the disagreement about its boundaries, the reasonableness standard protecting human/civil rights and the rule of law would be rendered hollow and ineffective.
Instead of the President’s blueprint, Zulat proposes to address the precarious constitutional framework in Israel, the fact that the core of democracy includes recognition and protection of human/civil rights and the principle of the rule of law. We also propose to set a procedure for the legislation of Basic Laws, minority rights, and the representation of minorities, especially the Arab minority. The government must be demanded to totally halt the advancement of any legislation that would harm the rule of law and alter the independence and professionalism of the judiciary, law enforcement authorities, independent legal counsels, the Civil Service Commission, and the media.