Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara
Attorney General Gali Baharav-MiaraShir Torem/Flash90

The right-wing Lavi organization sent a letter to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara accusing her of a "fundamental conflict of interest' with regard to her conduct surrounding the government's proposed judicial reforms.

According to the Lavi organization, the reforms in question - changing the composition of the Committee for the Selection of Judges, reducing the judicial review of Knesset legislation, passing an 'Override Clause' which would allow the Knesset to re-legislate laws which were struck down by the Supreme Court, abolishing the 'Reasonability Standard' for the striking down of legislation or government actions based on whether the judges deem them 'reasonable' rather than any true legal standard, abolishing the binding status of the attorney general's opinions, and the abolishment of the attorney general's role as the only representative of the State in cases before the Supreme Court, directly and personally concern the attorney general and the legal advisors to the government's ministers, hence the conflict of interest claim that should prevent them from engaging in these matters altogether.

"Any reasonable person understands that the attorney general and her team find themselves in a situation of a fundamental conflict of interest that establishes a blanket prohibition on involvement with the issues of the reforms that are currently taking shape in the legislative procedures," argued attorney Yona Sherki on behalf of the Lavi organization.

Adv. Sherki further cited the expected general strike of the State Attorneys’ Association, which represents approximately 1,100 public sector attorneys, as further evidence of the attorney general's alleged conflict of interest.

He further wrote that the attorney general's conflict of interest with regards to to the judicial reforms "dwarfs" the alleged conflict of interest which compelled Baharav-Miara to order Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to not involve himself in the efforts to pass the law or even the efforts of President Isaac Herzog to mediate a negotiated compromise on the reforms between the coalition and opposition.

In conclusion Adv. Sherki stated that the Lavi organization demands that Attorney General Baharav-Miara immediately cease any involvement, direct or indirect, in the controversy surrounding the judicial reforms. If she does not cease her involvement in the issue, Lavi will file e petition against her with the Supreme Court.

In the United States, attorney generals tender their resignation when a new president is inaugurated. However, in israel, attorney generals serve for six-year terms regardless of whatever changes in government. occur In addition, the attorney general has far more power in Israel than in the US. In Israel, the attorney general serves in two roles: as Chief Prosecutor as well as chief legal counsel to the government who represents the state in legal proceedings. On multiple occasions, the attorney general has disagreed with the prime minister and therefore refused to represent the government in court. This is one circumstance which would be addressed by the proposed reforms, which would allow the government to seek the representation of another attorney, instead of only relying on the attorney general.