Parliament votes on first key measure of controversial judicial reform

Opponents of this bill denounce an attack on democracy in the country.



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Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin during a session of the National Parliament on July 24, 2023. (RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)

Despite protests, the Israeli government’s plan is moving forward. The Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, voted Monday, July 24 a key measure of the judicial reform project carried by Benyamin Netanyahu and his ministers. This law is at the origin of a vast protest movement within the country, in addition to arousing the concern of allied foreign countries.

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The measure in question, which aims to limit the possibility for the Supreme Court to invalidate a government decision, was approved by the 64 deputies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, out of a total of 120. For opponents of this reform, it was however a safeguard supposed to protect the balance of powers. However, the elected representatives of the opposition were not present during the vote, which they described as “shame”.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who led last-minute negotiations to reach a compromise between the opposition and the government, spoke “a national emergency”. Faced with the bronca and several weekends of demonstrations, the Israeli government had suspended work around this law before putting it back in mid-June at the center of the debates, judging it necessary to ensure a better balance of powers. But its detractors continue to see it as a threat to democracy.

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