Ayelet Shaked Is 'Proud' of Israel's Supreme Court

In first comments since being tapped as justice minister-designate, the controversial Shaked stresses preference for judicial restraint over activism.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Justice Minister-designate Ayelet Shaked and Romanian Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc meeting in the Knesset on May 12, 2015.Credit: Knesset Spokesman's Office
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Justice Minister-designate Ayelet Shaked on Tuesday made generally conciliatory remarks about the Supreme Court, despite her prominence in efforts to curb the court’s power. “We are proud of our Supreme Court. It is among the world’s leading high courts, and its justices are outstanding,” she said, in her first public comments on the subject since being tapped as justice minister.

Speaking at a meeting in the Knesset with Romanian Justice Minister Robert Cazanciuc, Shaked soft-pedaled her criticism of the court. She acknowledged the disagreement between the proponents of judicial activism and judicial restraint regarding intervention by the High Court of Justice in laws passed by the Knesset, and stressed her support for the latter.

“As justice minister and as the head of the Judicial Appointments Committee, I will give preference to the conservative approach,” Shaked said.

The lawmaker from the Habayit Hayehudi party is considered a particularly fierce critic of the current composition of the Supreme Court and its intervention — when sitting as the High Court of Justice, which functions as Israel’s constitutional court — in the work of the legislative branch. In the course of the coalition negotiations she submitted six bills that would make changes to the judicial system. One would give politicians more seats on the Judicial Appointments Committee, which would allow the political leadership to impose its choice of judges even if the Supreme Court justices on the panel oppose the appointment. Shaked is also considered the driving force in the Knesset behind a bill that would enable the Knesset to ratify laws the High Court had struck down on the grounds that they violated the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom.

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