MK Shaked's proposal, which challenges the members of the right-wing bloc and frightens the High Court, will be raised in the Knesset today • What does the proposal state and what majority is required for its approval? • Questions and Answers
Ayelet Shaked and Aharon Barak (Archive)
Photo: Miriam Tzachi
MK Ayelet Shaked's bill (right) for the overcoming clause will be brought to the Knesset today (Wednesday).
This is a particularly explosive bill for members of the ultra-Orthodox bloc in the coalition in general and the Likud in particular, some of whom in the past supported the promotion of this law and even spoke in favor of it. This is against the background of the constant tension in the face of blue and white and the saga of the Conversion Therapy Law, which almost led to the dissolution of the government.
Supported by Blue and White: The law banning conversion therapy was passed in advance // Photo: Knesset Channel
So what does the law actually say? "Israel Today" with the answers to all the important questions.
What does the overcoming clause actually state and why is it called so?
This is an amendment to the Basic Law: Justice, which will be brought to a preliminary reading in the plenum today, which allows the Knesset to "overcome" the Supreme Court - that is, to circumvent a law passed by the Supreme Court, and make that law valid for five years despite its repeal. This, provided that it is approved by the Knesset by a majority of 61 Knesset members.
The Supreme Court now has the power to invalidate laws that infringe on the fundamental rights of the individual and contradict the Basic Laws. The second principle in the overruling ruling is to reduce the right to appeal to the High Court, which has been expanded in recent years.
Why is MK Ayelet Shaked (right) initiating this bill?
MK Shaked claims that for the past 25 years we have witnessed the erosion of the status of the Knesset by the courts, a move led by then-Supreme President Aharon Barak. Some laws enacted by the Knesset have been rejected by the justice system over the years, due to a conflict of values concerning human rights and individual freedoms.
Just this year, the Supreme Court repealed the Settlement Law and the Deposit Law, which is intended to encourage the departure of infiltrators.
Why is the legal system strongly opposed to enacting this amendment to the law?
Because it weakens the power of judges and strengthens the power of the legislature. Thus, for example, the bill proposes that only the Supreme Court, composed of 11 judges, will be able to determine that a law enacted by the Knesset is not valid, and even then only if two-thirds of the judges think so.
What is the main argument of opponents of the law among the public and academia against its approval?
They argue that if the bill is approved, it will give unlimited power to any political-coalition majority. The President of the Israel Democracy Institute, Yohanan Plesner, warned: "The overcoming clause will make us the only democracy in the world (except Canada) where the power to legislate is not restrained by the court."
Is a majority of 61 MKs needed for its approval?
No. MK Shaked claims that although this is an amendment to the Basic Law, a majority of 61 MKs is not required for its approval in the Knesset plenum because the law is not armored.
Is there a chance that there will be a majority today to approve the bill?
It all depends on the form of voting of the Likud faction, whose members support this legislative initiative. But they will find it difficult to do so, because the coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White stipulates that bills that are not acceptable to all elements of the coalition should not be supported. Without the support of the Likud, there is no chance of gaining a majority. Shas and Torah Judaism have already announced that they will oppose.