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Israel’s Constitutional Crisis: Will the Supreme Court Strike Down the Reasonableness Law?

Israel’s Supreme Court is to rule on the constitutionality of ‘reasonableness law’ that could undermine separation of powers and rule of law.

Selfie in the Knesset after voting 64-0 for the correction of the Reasonableness Law 24.7.23

Israelis are on edge as they await the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the “reasonableness law.” The correction of the law, which the Knesset passed in July 2023, would limit the Supreme Court’s ability to review government decisions.

Many experts believe the Supreme Court will strike down the law, as it would fundamentally undermine the separation of powers. However, the government has warned that a ruling against the law would lead to a constitutional crisis.

This article will explore the potential implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling. We will also discuss the arguments for and against the reasonableness law.

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The Reasonableness Law

The reasonableness law would prohibit the Supreme Court from reviewing government decisions that are “reasonable.” This means the court would no longer be able to strike down government decisions deemed unconstitutional or unfair.

The Knesset passed the law with the support of the right-wing government. The government argued that the law is necessary to protect the separation of powers and to prevent the Supreme Court from becoming too powerful.

The Arguments Against the Reasonableness Law

Critics of the reasonableness law argue that it would fundamentally undermine the separation of powers. They argue that the Supreme Court is the only institution that can check the power of the government, and that the law would effectively give the government carte blanche to do whatever it wants.

They also argue that the law would be unfair, as it would allow the government to make decisions that discriminate against certain groups of people. For example, the government could pass a law discriminating against women or minorities, and the Supreme Court would be powerless to stop it.

The Arguments for the Reasonableness Law

Supporters of the reasonableness law argue that protecting the separation of powers is necessary. They argue that the Supreme Court has become too powerful in recent years, and that the law is necessary to rein it in.

They also argue that the law would not be unfair, as it would still allow the Supreme Court to review government decisions that are clearly unconstitutional. For example, the Supreme Court could still strike down a law violating the Basic Laws of Israel.

The Potential Implications of the Supreme Court’s Ruling

If the Supreme Court strikes down the reasonableness law, it would be a major victory for the rule of law in Israel. It would send a message that the government is not above the law, and that the Supreme Court is still the final arbiter of constitutionality.

However, if the Supreme Court upholds the law, it would be a significant setback for the rule of law. It would give the government free rein to do whatever it wants, making it much more difficult to protect the rights of minorities and other vulnerable groups.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the reasonableness law is one of the most important decisions that it will make in recent years. The outcome of the case will have a profound impact on the future of Israel’s democracy.

We will have to wait and see what the Supreme Court decides. However, one thing is certain: the case is already having a major impact on Israeli politics and society.



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