Legal Standing Law Rejected in Committee
The Ministerial Legislative Committee overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would institute the long-established Western common law principle of legal standing in Israel's judicial system.
The bill would have required petitioners to Israel's courts be a directly impacted by a law or policy in order to challenge its validity under the Basic Laws, thereby eliminating third-party lawsuits.
Saturday evening Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his opposition to the bill saying he believed it would "impair the independence of Israel's courts."
Knesset observers note bills that fail to gain the cabinet's support generally die in committee - and that Netanyahu's opposition effectively buried the bill single-handedly.
Netanyahu's renewed vocal opposition to the recent slate of judicial reform bills came after Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor on Saturday threatened to resign if the bills became law.
Other opponents of the bill included Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home), who said, "The issue is not who is petitioning the Supreme Court, but the composition of the Supreme Court."
Hershowitz said he preferred to focus on "ensuring the Supreme Court reflected the full range of opinions of Israelis," adding "this bill does not contribute to that and has no merit."
Netanyahu has also expressed his opposition to a bill that would require prospective justices for Israel's Supreme Court be vetted by a Knesset committee – much as their counterparts in the United States are vetted by the US Senate.
His opposition comes despite Netanyahu's own remarks on Sunday that Israel's democracy contains 'distortions' that need to be fixed. He did not address what those distortions were or propose any methods of repairing them.