Amid protests, Israel Parliament passes law that curbs powers of Supreme Court

By India Today World Desk: Amid widespread protests, Israeli MPs on Monday successfully passed a highly contentious bill that reportedly curbs the power of the Supreme Court in the country, the BBC reported.

This newly enacted law strips the Supreme Court of its authority to overturn government actions deemed unreasonable. It marks the initial step in a contentious series of reforms designed to restrict the courts’ influence.

The proposed reforms have sparked some of the largest demonstrations in Israel’s history, as critics argue they pose a threat to the country’s democratic foundation.

The third and final vote on the bill, on contested changes sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, passed 64-0 after a volatile session. The opposition, however, boycotted it and stormed out of the chamber after chanting ‘shame’.

Despite multiple last-minute efforts in the Knesset to amend the bill or find a procedural compromise with the opposition, all attempts failed.

The parliamentary vote came after nearly 30 hours of continuous floor debate, which saw both supporters and opponents of limiting judicial oversight on political power taking to the streets in massive protests.

According to the law’s provisions, the courts are now barred from scrutinising the “reasonableness” of cabinet and minister decisions, including appointments and the choice to refrain from exercising vested authorities, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.

Throughout the protests, demonstrators have been urging the government to abandon its contentious judicial overhaul plan, expressing concerns that it will undermine the courts’ ability to oversee decisions made by the executive and legislative branches.

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