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Netanyahu slammed for plans to limit judicial power

By IANS Updated: May 27, 2019 10:50 pm

Jerusalem, May 27 (IANS): Israel’s Supreme Court President Esther Hayut criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday over the intention of the right-wing parties in the Parliament to limit the power of the state’s judicial system.

In the general elections on April 9, the Likud right-wing party led by Netanyahu and the other right-wing parties won a majority of 65 seats out of 120 in the Parliament.

These parties then declared that they would act for legislation that would allow the Parliament to re-enact laws that the Supreme Court rejected.

In addition, they intend to promote an immunity law that will prevent the prosecution of members of Knesset until the end of their term of office, Xinhua news agency reported.

The centre-left parties, which won only 55 seats, claim that such laws will harm Israeli democracy, allow corruption by Knesset members and are intended mainly to save Netanyahu, who is suspected of criminal offences in three cases.

Justice Hayut, who spoke at the annual conference of the Israeli Bar Association in Eilat city, quoted Netanyahu’s remarks made during her swearing-in ceremony in October 2017, according to which “the need for a strong, independent, honest and impartial court must not be changed and it will not change”.

Hayut said “since that ceremony, a year and a half has passed, and I ask what has changed during this period? Has anything ever happened since justifying a deviation from these important principles? The answer is negative.”

He added that the negotiations between the parties to form the new government “are characterized by a blatant and unbridled discourse, to the extent that the Israeli judicial authority and judges are described as the enemy of the people”.

By IANS Updated: May 27, 2019 10:50:16 pm