Mandelblit: AG doesn't rule the country

In a talk given at a conference held by 'Calcalist' magazine, A-G Mandelblit expounds on his understanding of the office.

Ido Ben Porat,

A-G Avichai Mandelblit
A-G Avichai Mandelblit
Photo: Justice Ministry spokesman

Attorney-General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit spoke this morning (Wednesday) in Tel Aviv at a conference held by the newspaper "Calcalist"; and related how he saw the job of the Attorney-General in contrast to that of the political echelons.

"As I contemplate the job of the Attorney-General from within, and from an even deeper familiarity with the system for enforcement and counsel, at whose head I sit, I feel even more confident in repeating the comments I made before I began my duties: [that] the rule of law does not mean the rule of the Attorney-General."

According to Mandelblit, the political echelons are the elected ones, they have the authority to establish government policy, and bear the responsibility for decisions. "The job of the Attorney-General is to offer legal tools to the decision makers, for the sake of realizing government policy, within the parameters of the law."

Mandelblit explained that the Attorney-General is required to analyze the desired action from a legal perspective, present the associated risks to the political echelons, wherever these risks exist, and to leave the decision to the political echelons, within the range of legal options.

He emphasized that "in the event that there exist legal obstacles to executing a desired action, we must say so in a loud and clear voice, and together with the political echelons, find other solutions which are within the confines of the law."

Dr. Mandelblit mentioned that his perspective on the AG's job was not his idea, but had been written many years earlier in a report by the committee chaired by retired President of the High Court Meir Shamgar. "It has remained with me and even been strengthened in the course of my first year in office. I did not hesitate to rule in less-than-simple issues, all according to the legal situation I was looking at", he said.

The Attorney-General did not miss the opportunity to publicly wish Shimon Peres a speedy recovery, and a good and fruitful year to all attending.




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