'Obeying the law is more important than obeying court rulings'

MK Smotrich attacks Supreme Court Chief Justice Hayut for criticism of Justice Minister Ohana. 'Comments must be viewed with severity.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

MK Betzalel Smotrich (United Right) responded sharply Thursday to the attack by Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut on Justice Minister Amir Ohana.

"The fact that the chief justice of the Supreme Court allows herself to criticize the elected Minister of Justice in a harsh and public manner must be viewed with great severity," Smotrich wrote on Twitter.

"The heart of the matter is that obeying the law is much more important than obeying court rulings. When court rulings become grounded in adherence to the laws of the Knesset, there will be no problem obeying them to the letter.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice Justice Esther Hayut today criticized Justice Minister Amir Ohana in a speech at a course for court chief and deputy justices in Ma'ale Hahamisha.

"Following an interview broadcast yesterday with the Justice Minister, it's important for me to tell you that in my opinion, the fact that a Justice Minister in the State of Israel, on his inauguration day, chooses to share with us an unprecedented and irresponsible legal outlook, according to which not all verdicts handed by a court need necessarily be respected, must be viewed with utmost seriousness," Hayut said.

"In other words, every litigant will be able, with the Justice Minister's blessing, to choose which judgment to uphold and which not. I want to say only one thing about this: Between this worldview and the anarchy of 'every man, what is good in his eyes will do' - the road is short," she added.

Justice Hayut was responding to an interview given by Justice Minister Ohana on News 12, during which he was asked about his previous statement that not every court ruling should be observed. Ohana said, "Tali Hatuel lived in Gush Katif. She reached the Kissufim route and was shot by terrorists who reached the road. It appears the terrorists reached the Kissufim road under the protection of a number of structures. The army had identified the buildings as a security threat but the Supreme Court, although lacking expertise, decided to prevent the demolition."

When asked if in some cases Supreme Court decisions need not be obeyed, Ohana responded: "The supreme consideration should be to protect the lives of the citizens, yes."