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Proposal: Knesset could Revive Laws the Court Nixed

Justice Ministry proposal lets Knesset re-legislate laws struck down by the courts with a 65-MK majority.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/8/2012, 7:40 PM

Yaakov Ne'eman
Yaakov Ne'eman
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Justice Ministry has formally proposed a bill that would define the balance of power between the Knesset and the court system.

According to the bill, the Knesset will be able to revive and re-legislate a law that was cancelled by the Supreme Court, if it passes it in three readings with a majority of at least 61 MKs in each reading.

A law passed in this way would only be valid for five years, but the Knesset will be allowed to pass it again every five years.

After an unspecified period of time following the passing of the reform, the minimum majority required for "revival" of laws would go up from 61 to 65. The Knesset is to specify the duration of the period in which only a 61-MK majority suffices.

The courts, for their part, will only be able to strike down a law in a session of the Supreme Court, and only if at least nine judges are on the panel. This is a change from the current situation, in which any court – including Magistrates' Courts and District Courts – can strike down a law passed by the Knesset.

The bill is a revised version of an arrangement suggested in the early 2000s by Ne'eman, according to which a majority of 70 MKs would be required for undoing a court decision to nullify a law.