Two of Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara's deputies held talks with legal officials over the weekend in which they expressed opposition to parts of President Isaac Herzog's compromise proposal for the government's planned judicial reforms, Kan Reshet Bet reported.
According to the report, the main objection concerns the section that will allow the return of Shas chairman Aryeh Deri to the government as a minister, an issue that the attorney general has already clarified her opposition to in the past.
The deputies claimed that the sections which would allow Deri to be appointed as a minister again despite the Supreme Court ruling disqualifying him would constitute an abuse of the Knesset's powers. The attorney general is opposed to the 'Deri 2' bill which would remove the Supreme Court's judicial review of ministerial appointments as well as the section of the President's outline which would do the same thing.
Baharav-Miara's position may put the opposition leaders in a tight spot between supporting the President's outline and supporting the attorney general. Coalition officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have condemned the President's outline as adopting the opposition's positions rather than a true compromise and stated that it would not solve the issues which necessitated the judicial reforms in the first place.
The 'Deri 2' bill was passed in its first reading last Wednesday.
The main points of the Presidents outline are: the coalition will not have a majority in the committee which appoints Supreme Court justices, passage and amendment of Basic Laws will only be possible with a super-majority of 80 MKs, the opinions of ministerial legal advisors and the attorney general will be binding, with the exception of legislation, and fundamental rights such as human dignity will be anchored in constitutional law. Herzog promised in his speech that the Draft Law allowing haredi yeshiva students to be exempt from military service would be immune from judicial review.
Knesset Constitution Committee chairman MK Simcha Rothman is expected to bring a softened version of the first parts of the judicial reform for a vote this week, the parts dealing with the committee which selects Supreme Court justices and the immunity of Basic Laws from judicial review. Rothman hopes to pass the bills into law before the end of the current Knesset session in two weeks.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been pushing for a negotiated compromise on the judicial reforms, but Justice Minister Yariv Levin has refused any compromise on the bill on the selection of Supreme Court Justices and insists that the bill be passed as is.