Israel's PM Netanyahu's difficulties may increase, hearing continues in SC against the law protecting him from removal from office

Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday began hearing the first of appeals against judicial reform being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his religious-nationalist coalition. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and lawmakers gather at the Knesset plenum in Jerusalem on July 24, 2023, to vote on a bill that would limit some of the Supreme Court's powers.

Aug 4, 2023 - 12:12
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Israel's PM Netanyahu's difficulties may increase, hearing continues in SC against the law protecting him from removal from office

Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday began hearing the first of appeals against judicial reform being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his religious-nationalist coalition. The matter has created a situation of domestic crisis.
A March amendment to the semi-constitutional 'Basic Law' limited the conditions under which a prime minister could be deemed unfit or incompetent and removed from office.
Critics see the Supreme Court as the ultimate check on the executive working in tandem with the legislature in a country that has no formal constitution. Netanyahu is on trial on three corruption counts, raising concerns at home and abroad about Israel's democratic health. He has denied any wrongdoing and has dismissed the criminal charges against him as political witchcraft.
"There is a desire to create a judicial dictatorship," Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told public broadcaster Kan. The Appellate Movement for Quality Government in Israel argued that the March Laws constituted a further shift towards dictatorship and set a dangerous new precedent, allowing the incumbent prime minister to manipulate constitutional arrangements at his own convenience given the majority he holds. can change.
On September 12, for the first time in Israel, the entire 15-judge bench will assemble to hear appeals against another Basic Law amendment. Actually, this law amendment curbs the powers of the Supreme Court.
The law, approved on July 24, removed the reasonableness standard of review, one of the court's tools for striking down government decisions. Critics of that amendment worry that it will lead to high-level corruption.
Both the incapacity and reasonableness amendments are part of basic laws, which the court has so far refrained from striking down. Netanyahu has expressed hope that he will not do so again and has been vague on whether he will follow through on any such decisions.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer