The Justice Ministry published a legal memorandum last weekend with regards to the Basic Law: Legislation which seeks to secure the constitutional relationship between the legislative authority and the judicial authority.
According to the memorandum, the Knesset will be able to reintroduce and pass a law voided by the Supreme Court if it were to pass in the Knesset by a special majority of 65 Knesset members.
The Knesset members would have to make a special note of the fact that the bill was re-introduced, even though it conflicted with a Basic Law. According to the proposal, any bill proposed under these terms would only be valid for five years, yet the Knesset would be able to extend it indefinitely.
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
The bill is based for the most part on a bill prepared by current Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman some 10 years ago in coordination with then Supreme Court President Aharon Barak. The most significant change made in the bill is that now, in order to pass a law that bypasses the Supreme Court, only 65 MK votes will be needed instead of the 70 stipulated in the previous proposal.
Yet the proposal also states that in the first period following the passing of the Basic Law: Legislation the Knesset will be able to push bills that bypass the Supreme Court with a regular majority of 61 MKs, and the Basic Law fails to state the length of said initial period.
The Basic Law will, for the first time since the foundation of the State of Israel, regularize the relations between the Supreme Court and the Knesset, including its authority in relation to the annulment of laws.
The proposal will see two important principles anchored within the legislation: The authority given to the Supreme Court to annul laws, and the circumstances under which the Knesset would be able to push through a law bypassing the Supreme Court.
Moreover, the bill will, for the first time, anchor the Knesset's authority to initiate a constitution using a collection of Basic Laws and the precedence of all Basic Laws over regular legislation.
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