The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee convened Monday to debate another draft of the "Israeli Bar Association bill," which will affect the make up of the Judges Selection Committee.
The new bill aims to enable Bar members to elect only one representative to the Judges Selection Committee, instead of two, as customary today.
The amendment is aimed at altering the balance of power within the committee: It aims to allow for the election of only one coalition representatives and one opposition members, effectively preventing a situation where two candidates are elected by the majority.
Deputy Attorney General Orit Koren also leveled criticism at the bill: "The bill clearly aims to apply retroactive change. The Knesset is abusing its legislative power. This is not a lateral move – the basic premise of the draft is problematic and harmful to the values of Basic Law: The Judiciary, and to the Judiciary's autonomy."
The bill, she added, "is detrimental to the Knesset's role as the legislative branch."
MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) slammed the proposal as "one of the most shameful briefs I've even seen. This is the result of the scheme with Shas," he blasted MKs Zeev Elkin and Yariv Levin (Likud) and MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu) – the bill's presenters. "This is beyond outrageous."
Head of the Israeli Bar Chairman Attorney Doron Barzilai, however, shrugged off the criticism, saying the bill "will protect both the Bar and democracy."
Should the bill pass the vote, it will pave the way for Audge Asher Grunis to be named president of the Supreme Court when Chief Justice Dorit Beinish retires, in several months.
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