Photo: Yaron Brener
Justice Minister Shaked
Photo: Yaron Brener

Shaked's override power legislation faces obstacles

Opposition criticizes narrow version of notwithstanding clause, which would allow the Knesset to pass deportation plan for African migrants without fear the High Court would strike it down; AG Mandelblit still objects to legislation.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's bill proposal that seeks to resolve the illegal African migrants issue by bypassing the High Court of Justice faces several obstacles.



The justice minister has proposed a narrow notwithstanding clause that would allow the government to pass a plan to deport African asylum seekers and refugees that the High Court would not be able to overturn.


Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) has previously blocked attempts to pass a broader notwithstanding clause, which would've applied to additional issues, but has already announced his support for the narrow version, which is limited to the African migrants issue.


Justice Minister Shaked (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Justice Minister Shaked (Photo: Yaron Brener)


Nevertheless, the proposal still faces several other obstacles. Primarily, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit remains opposed to the notwithstanding clause, even in its narrow version, and believes the High Court will strike it down.


The disagreement resolves around the majority required to override the High Court's authority. Based on the current proposal, the required majority is 61 members of Knesset, while the opposition is pushing for a majority of 70 MKs and over.


The ultra-Orthodox parties might also oppose to the narrow version of the bill, as they wish to have override power on other issues, primarily the previous IDF draft law, which was struck down by the High Court.


The objection from the Haredim might be resolved, however, as Shaked recently announced that her Bayit Yehudi party will demand assurances in any future coalition agreement that a broader notwithstanding clause will be passed.


Finance Minister Kahlon (Photo: Reuters)
Finance Minister Kahlon (Photo: Reuters)


The opposition, meanwhile, came out against the proposed legislation.


"The smell of elections is in the air and the government has already begun the liquidation sale. It's time to shoot off populist statements for another voice in the primaries and another quarter of a seat in the Knesset, and to hell with the rule of law," said Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg. "When they can only see their political interests, they're willing to pass a tool to override the rules of democracy."


"Instead of looking to Western nations, the Israeli government continues glancing at its dubious friends that are disintegrating democracy in their countries, and also takes organized and systematic measures against all rule of law bodies, marking them like targets in the shooting range. The Israeli public won't give up the rule of law that easy," Zandberg added.


Zionist Union MK Michal Biran questioned Finance Minister Kahlon's decision. "Kahlon declared he would support a narrow notwithstanding clause, concerning the infiltrators. Meaning, in some cases it's allowed to bypass the High Court, but in other cases it's not. Kahlon's attempt to run between the raindrops in this extremist right-wing government shows lack of ideology, lack of trust in the justice system, and lack of trust in the fact the public is not stupid," Biran charged.


"Kahlon's voters wanted to see a man in the government who represents the sane center, and got a submissive slave of Netanyahu. With his own hands Kahlon is helping bypass Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty over political whims," she added.


In May, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved an override power legislation proposed by MK Bezalel Smotrich, which would constitute an amendment to the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.


The bill received the support of 11 committee members, among them Kulanu Minister Yoav Galant, while Kahlon missed the vote.


פרסום ראשון: 10.23.18, 15:20
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