A bad and arbitrary law for Israel
Experience has shown that even short terms have been worthwhile, and that what guarantees the independence of the court's justices is the principle of seniority: The custom that the longest-serving justice is appointed president.
From the outset, there was no need for the law proposed by former Justice Minister Daniel Friedman to set a minimum term for the president of the Supreme Court. Experience has shown that even short terms have been worthwhile, and that what guarantees the independence of the court's justices is the principle of seniority: The custom that the longest-serving justice is appointed president.
Cancelling the need for a minimum length of term is justifiable, even if the reasoning of those who sponsor such a move now is lacking: Such a change would have been better were it not done on the eve of the appointment of a new Supreme Court president, when the objective is to bring about the selection of a specific justice.
This is completely different than the attempt to legislate the ouster of the representatives of the Israel Bar Association from the Judicial Appointments Committee. These representatives - attorneys Rachel Ben Ari and Khaled Hosni-Zoabi - were recently chosen according to a process determined by law. They are deserving of the post in every way, except for one: They are not from the same camp as Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.
Neeman and the three MKs enthusiastically working with him as a team decided, it seems, according to statements by MK Yariv Levin (Likud ), that the Supreme Court is composed of justices from the radical left, has a post-Zionist agenda and is based on the system of "friends appointing friends." They have decided to restructure the Supreme Court, and there is no disgusting trick or flawed and unconstitutional legislation that they will not stoop to to effect this.
Their the proposed legislation to oust the IBA's elected representatives - followed by the appointment of other representatives from that organization to serve on the Judicial Appointments Committee - is now to be brought up for discussion before the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in advance of being presented to the full Knesset for its second and third readings.
This law, in the words of Sigal Kogut, the Knesset's deputy legal advisor and the committee's legal counsel, bears the signs of being retroactive, arbitrary and personal, and is constitutionally flawed and indefensibly unproportional.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must make it clear to the justice minister what a proper justice minister should have understood by himself: There is no room for constitutional changes to meet momentary needs that change from one day to the next into something totally different. If he does not do so, the coalition will be disgraced when the law is ruled unconstitutional.