Is Israel’s ‘Reasonableness Bill’ Reasonable? Hear Both Sides and Decide

Is Israel’s ‘Reasonableness Bill’ Reasonable? Hear Both Sides and Decide
Israeli Supreme Court

“There is no example in the world of a sweeping reasonableness standard which completely replaces the discretion of the elected echelon,” says Minister Yariv Levin. Opposition Leader Lapid: ” If you vote in favor of this bill, you are weakening the State of Israel.”

By United with Israel Staff

Israeli Minister of Justice MK Yariv Levin on Monday summed up the debate surrounding the controversial proposed amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary (Amendment No. 4), also known as the “reasonableness standard” bill.

The billed passed today by a vote of 64-0, with all members of the Opposition member skipping the vote.

“In the course of the deliberations on the bill, our friend MK Gilad Kariv commissioned a report from the Knesset Research and Information Center to receive data from around the world on the reasonableness standard. I expected this study to receive a great deal of attention, but surprisingly enough, it was completely hushed up by the various media outlets. Despite everything, this study also shows that there is no country in the world and no example in the world of a sweeping reasonableness standard, which replaces completely the discretion of the elected echelon with the discretion of the judges.

“Not only is the use of the reasonableness standard a matter of worldview and not a legal matter, it enables the judge to do something else that has no place in the court: To make a decision that has no reasons and no criteria. Is it reasonable or unreasonable. Based on what, exactly? By what measure? Where is the school for reasonableness in which one can learn what is reasonable? Is there such a place?

“It’s clear that there isn’t,” Levin said. “If there were such a school, I would be the first to sign up for studies.”

“But there is no such thing, and there can be no such thing. For reasonableness is a worldview. It’s not contract law, it’s not rules of evidence, it’s not a legal matter. Who said that what is reasonable in the judges’ eyes is the sensible thing to do? Who decided that their personal attitudes are better than those of the ministers?

“I would like to address from here the people who fear this amendment, and say with full responsibility: We are following a very cautious path. We are not abolishing the reasonableness standard, we are reducing its use, in such a way that the worldview of individual judges will not replace the people’s choice. Of course, if the Government or a minister act illegally, without authority, in conflict of interest, in an improper procedure—in all these cases the court can and will be able to intervene.

“I know that an absolute majority of the public wants repairs to the justice system, so a broad consensus can be reached. I hope that the Knesset will vote today in favor of this bill, and will prove that there are legislators in Jerusalem. I also hope we will know how to take advantage of the months that the Knesset is in recess to sit down for serious talks, directly, without need for mediators, in order to reach a consensus as to the full set of the reform’s components. My door has been and remains open,” Levin said.

Leader of the Opposition MK Yair Lapid said: “In the past 24 hours, two compromise proposals have been presented to me—one [proposed] by the Histadrut and one by the President. I did not like either of them, and I posed tough conditions for them that were not accepted. Nevertheless, I was willing to talk, because our duty as elected officials is to do what is good for the country, not what is good for us.

“Never in the state’s history has there been such a display of complete abdication of responsibility. The reality is that you are letting the country fall apart. The coalition wants to legislate a rift in the people—belligerent and violent legislation that will inflict critical harm upon the Supreme Court, Israeli society, security, the economy, and our unity as a people.

“I have met with the top officials of the defense establishment in the past 24 hours, and we are headed for a disaster. If you vote in favor of this legislation, you are hastening the end of the nation, you are harming the State of Israel’s security. If you vote in favor of this bill, you are weakening the State of Israel, the people of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces.

“I call upon the sane people in the coalition, and there are such people—take responsibility for the people’s future and for state security. You know that something terrible is happening here, that this is a hostile takeover of your party. If you don’t stop it—you will wake up in the next 30 years in the middle of the night with the clear knowledge that you could have done the right thing but did not do it. If you press the button and say yes to this bill, you will no longer be able to call yourselves Israeli patriots,” Lapid said.

Do You Love Israel? Make a Donation to Show Your Support!

Donate to vital charities that protect Israelis and help inspire millions around the world to support Israel too!

Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight – and win – the battle of public opinion.

Anti-Israel bias and boycotts are out of control. Israel’s enemies effectively use social media to incite brutal terror against innocent Israeli civilians. Please help us fight back!


The post Is Israel’s ‘Reasonableness Bill’ Reasonable? Hear Both Sides and Decide first appeared on United with Israel.
United with Israel