| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Israeli judicial reform legislation won’t be halted, justice minister says

Israel’s justice minister declared on Sunday that he would not halt the legislative process for the proposed judicial reforms, which have received strong opposition both locally and internationally.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog had earlier in the day called for a temporary halt to the process in a statement, which was followed by Israel’s Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s remarks to Hebrew media outlet Channel 13.

“Stop the whole process for a moment, take a deep breath, allow for dialogue because there is a huge majority of the people who would like dialogue,” Herzog said in the statement.

The plans to strengthen political control over appointments of judges, including the Supreme Court, while weakening that body’s ability to overturn legislation or rule against the government, have brought tens of thousands of Israelis onto the streets in nationwide protests, widening already deep political divisions in Israeli society.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the reforms are needed to curb overreach by judges.

Critics say the proposed changes will politicize the judiciary and compromise its independence, foster corruption and harm Israel’s legal protection abroad and its economy.

The Israeli president, who was appointed and not elected, has previously called for all sides of the debate to defuse the tension and try to reach a common understanding.

  • Reuters