Top Court Orders Government to Justify Expanding Far-right Ben-Gvir’s Powers Over Israel Police

T. Belman. This is one more example of judicial overreach necessitating Judicial Reform.

The injunction issued by Israel’s High Court means that the court found the petitioners’ arguments against the amendment, which states that the National Security Minister will direct police policy, persuasive, and the burden of convincing the court not to repeal it now falls on the respondents

Chen MaanitBy Chen Maanit, HAARETZ

Israel’s High Court of Justice has issued an injunction ordering the government, the Knesset, and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to explain within 90 days why the amendment to the Police Order, which grants Ben-Gvir the power to determine police policy, including in investigations, should not be repealed.

The meaning is that the High Court has found the petitioners’ arguments against the amendment persuasive, and now the burden of convincing the court not to repeal the amendment shifts to the respondents.

In December, the Knesset approved part of the bill, according to which the National Security Minister will guide the police’s policy and will be able to set its investigative policy.

The petitioners – including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI,) the Labor Party and Yesh Atid – argued that the amendment to the police order is unconstitutional, as it subjects the implementation of the rights of freedom of expression and of protest to a political actor.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara warned the High Court of Justice that there is grave concern that the amendment advanced by Ben-Gvir will cause politicization of the Israel Police, harm to individual rights, and introduce improper considerations in the use of force by police. However, the attorney general also said that the petitions should be denied because in her opinion the amendment to the order is vague, and allows the High Court to interpret it in a manner enabling the police’s continued independent operations.

Attorney Eliad Shraga of the Movement for Quality Government, who represented the petitioners, said at the hearing that “the petitions must be viewed in the broader context” of the attempted regime upheaval in Israel, adding that the amendment turns Ben-Gvir into a “Super-Commissioner, like in dark regimes.”

After the ruling, Ben-Gvir announced that “Sadly the Supreme Court Justices once again prove themselves to be super-legislators, above the Knesset. I call upon the prime minister and say that it’s time to pass the reforms in full, without yielding.”

June 19, 2023 | Comments »

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