Justice Minister Shaked Slams Lawmakers Who Appeal High Court

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Israeli Justice Minister Ayalet Shaked, in July 2016.
Shaked, last week. Said MKs who petition the High Court against decisions by the Knesset or government “undermine their role” as legislative representatives. Credit: Emil Salman

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Sunday that lawmakers who petition the High Court of Justice against decisions made by the Knesset or the government “undermine their role as a representative of the legislative authority.”

Nevertheless, Shaked said she opposed the bill presented by MK Yoav Kish (Likud) that would prevent Knesset members from petitioning the High Court against Knesset decisions.

The legislation was drafted following criticism in a ruling handed down by former Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, in which he expressed concern over the large number of High Court petitions by MKs. Grunis warned that such petitions would damage the status of the legislature.

Speaking at a ceremony of the Jerusalem district of the Israel Bar Association on Sunday, Minister Shaked said: “In my opinion it is not right to prohibit an MK from petitioning [the High Court] but I would certainly expect a Knesset member to take to heart his position as a member of the legislative authority.”

Shaked said she believed that the authorities must respect one another but that “long beforehand, an MK must respect the fact that he is a member of the Knesset of Israel There and only there is where his sphere of action is.”

The Knesset House Committee was due to meet Monday for its first debate on Kish’s bill. However, senior Likud politicians have said over the past few weeks that the legislation will not move forward, among other reasons because the prime minister has said he opposes it.

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