In Israel, supreme court to hear petitions against basic law amendment removing ambiguity about court's power to order prime minister's recusal
By 27 September 2023
Flag of Israel (photo credit: David_Peterson via pixabay)
With societal and political tensions in Israel more profoundly strained than ever, the [Supreme Court, sitting as the] High Court of Justice — the veritable epicenter of those tensions — is set to hear petitions on [28 September] against government legislation that blocks the court from potentially ordering the prime minister to recuse himself from office. [...] Passed in March, the law itself is fundamentally connected to the political tempest that has befallen the country ever since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted in 2020 on corruption charges, and by extension, to the severe polarization that has arisen as a result. [...] And the recusal law, like the ["reasonableness" law limiting the court's power of judicial review], is an amendment to one of the Basic Laws (Basic Law: The Government, in this case) which comprise a makeshift Israeli constitution, and which makes striking down or altering such legislation highly controversial. The recusal law, perhaps more correctly called the incapacitation law, changed an ambiguity in the Basic Law in which the court might theoretically have had the power to order a prime minister to recuse himself or herself from office under certain circumstances, potentially including a violation of a conflict of interest agreement such as Netanyahu has signed. The legislation now stipulates that the power to declare the prime minister incapacitated lies only with the government and the Knesset, based on medical grounds alone, and requires the support of 75 percent of cabinet ministers and of 80 lawmakers in the 120-member parliament.
Read the full article here: The Times of Israel