Bill Would Block Court From Repealing Immigration Laws

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is scheduled to review a bill barring the High Court of Justice from repealing restrictive immigration laws.

The bill, by MK Michael Eitan (Likud) Eitan, attempts to import the British model of partial judicial review of legislation.

If it passes into law, it would prevent the court from repealing laws that deal with "restricting people from entering Israel's borders," even if the court determines that these laws run contrary to the Basic Law on Human Dignity.

According to the bill, which is proposed as an amendment to that Basic Law, the court would only be allowed to note the conflict, and to inform the Knesset of its verdict. The Knesset, in turn, would then be under obligation to discuss the ruling within 90 days.

Eitan first drafted the bill two years ago, in conjunction with discussions in the High Court of Justice on the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law - a temporary order greatly restricting Palestinians' ability to become Israeli citizens.

As recently reported by Haaretz, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann was drafting a similar bill earlier this year. However, Friedmann's bill encountered resistance and was dropped before it was submitted to the ministerial committee.

The Likud MK told Haaretz that he decided to resubmit his bill and promote it during the present Knesset session because the High Court of Justice was preparing for another round of deliberations on the Citizenship Law.

According to Eitan, his bill was coordinated with Friedmann's office.

"Maybe they'd rather see me push this bill, because they prefer for me to take the heat for it - which I'm prepared to do," he said.