Netanyahu Freezes Controversial Judicial Appointments Bill Amid Wave of Criticism

Following a slew of criticism from the left and from his own party, PM orders a halt on proceedings regarding the bill which seeks to change the makeup of the Judicial Appointments Committee.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Justice Minister Ya'akov Ne'eman and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to stop any proceedings regarding the bill, which aims to change the makeup of the Judicial Appointments Committee. Netanyahu said he intends to further review the matter.

The bill changing the makeup of the Judicial Appointments Committee is intended to strengthen the weight of the justice minister, Yaakov Neeman, in the committee.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Dan Meridor - Olivier Fitoussi / BauBau - 20.9.2011
Olivier Fitoussi / BauBau

It states that the two Bar Association members of the committee will be elected by a two-thirds majority of the members of the association's national council. This means that instead of two representatives of the Bar Association's coalition on the committee, one member of the coalition and one member of the opposition will be appointed.

Earlier on Wednesday, The Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee succumbed to last-minute pressure on Wednesday and decided to postpone an emergency discussion on whether to pull from the bill from the plenum agenda.

The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee had been preparing to bring the bill forward for a second a third reading, when it opted instead to accept Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin's suggestion to bring the issue back for a revote in light of a slew of criticism of the matter. It is extremely rare for a committee to cast a revote on a matter already approved in a first reading.

Read this article in Hebrew