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Israel parliament approves bill that limits Supreme Court power

Israel’s parliament in the first reading adopted a controversial bill that would limit the oversight powers of the Supreme Court.

 What in News?

  • Israel’s parliament has given approval to a bill that would limit the powers of the Supreme Court.
  • The vote resulted in a 64 to 56 majority in favour of the limits, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right governing coalition overpowering the opposition.
  • Anti-government protestors were forcibly removed from the building ahead of the vote which lead a police complain against them.

Background of the bill:

  • Netanyahu’s government initiated a bill which is a part of a controversial judicial overhaul.
  • Concerns have been raised about the erosion of checks and balances by the opposition groups within the government system.
  • Due to the opposition movement against Netanyahu’s attempt months of demonstrations and a political crisis have ensured to weaken the judiciary.

Protestors and Security Measures:

  • Parliament security forcibly dragged out the anti-government protestors.
  • A police complaint was also filed against the protestors to harm the public order and the democratic process.
  • The opposition movement against Netanyahu’s Government led to widespread protests and heightened tensions.

Approval Process:

  • The bill still needs two more votes to pass before becoming law.
  • Netanyahu’s far-right governing coalition, with 64 seats in the parliament appears likely to succeed in passing the bill.
  • Protestors are expected to intensify if the bill passes further votes.

Objectives of the Bill:

  • The bill was passed with the main aim to limit the Supreme Court’s power to void the decisions made by the government, ministries and elected officials by ruling them unreasonable.
  • Critics argue that such a law can lead to corruption and abuse of power.
  • Proponents claim it will facilitate effective governance by reducing court intervention.

Reactions and Concerns about the Bill:

  • A video was released by Netanyahu to defend the bill, claiming that it strengthens democracy without harming the court’s independence and civil rights.
  • Opponents remained unconvinced and continue to voice their concerns.
  • Economic concerns were also raised by the governor of bank of Israel.

Economic Impact of the Bill:

  • The governor of bank of Israel, Amir Yaron, called for broad agreements over judicial reforms to safeguard institutional independence, citing potential economic costs.
  • Netanyahu downplayed the economic fallout and expressed impatience with on-going demonstrations.

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