Proposal: Only MKs to select attorney general

MKs Ayelet Shaked and Shlomo Karai submit bill to remake committee to select attorney general to include only Knesset members.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

MKs Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) and Shlomo Karai (Likud) have submitted a bill under which only MKs would sit on the committee to select the attorney general.

The committee is currently headed by a retired Supreme Court judge appointed by the President of the Supreme Court, and three members of the Knesset (Chairman of the Knesset Committee, Chairman of the Knesset Law and Justice Committee and Chairman of the Knesset State Audit Committee); the Civil Service Commissioner or his representative; the head of the Bar or his representative; and a member of the academic staff of a higher education institution specializing in public law, chosen by the deans of the law faculties and their equivalent, in higher education institutions holding law studies.

This means that the Knesset members constitute a minority in the public committee that recommends candidates for the attorney general. On the other hand, the judiciary has a crucial weight, through the chairmanship of the committee, in the selection process.

According to the proposal of Shaked and Karai, only five members will be appointed to the selection committee, and in addition to the chairmen of the committees, there will be the two Knesset members who represent the Knesset in the Judicial Selections Committee.

The MKs explained their proposal: "The current arrangement leaves the Knesset and its minority representatives on the committee and harms the public status of the Israeli legislature, which is supposedly unable to choose the party that represents it in front of the court. This is apart from the inherent problem of giving senior status to the judiciary to choose the factor that will appear before it."

"The appointment of a retired Supreme Court judge as chairman of the committee was not in the original bill, but was an initiative and request by the Supreme Court President, Justice Aharon Barak, when enacting the law. This proposal was promoted despite objections from a number of Knesset members who anticipated the violation of the separation of powers as a result of such a mechanism," the initiators noted.

"As part of the principle of separation of powers and the strengthening of the Knesset's status, the attorney general should be elected to the position through a wide-scale representation of Knesset members, without the involvement of other authorities or foreign bodies," they said.