The Knesset plenum passed a bill which prevents the Supreme Court from holding a judicial review of the appointment of ministers. The law proposes that no court, including the Supreme Court, will be involved in the appointment or transfer of ministers, except for the provisions of section 6 of the Basic Government Law. The bill also suggests that the head of the largest faction, not involved in the formation of the government, can request a vote to approve no more than a quarter of designated ministers if they doubt their eligibility as per section 6 of the Basic Law. The Knesset can remove a minister at the request of at least forty members, and the eligibility conditions of ministers will also apply to deputy ministers. The explanatory notes to the proposal state that approving and removing ministers is at the core of democratic activity. MK Ofir Katz presented the proposal to strengthen the judiciary’s position, while MK Gideon Sa’ar criticized the proposal changes as motivated by personal interests. An infographic provides additional details on the subject.
The bill stating that the Supreme Court will not be allowed to hold a judicial review of the appointment of ministers, passed the first reading in the Knesset plenum this evening (Monday).
The law proposes to stipulate that a court, including the Supreme Court, will not be required, directly or indirectly, for any matter concerning the appointment of a minister or the transfer from office of a minister, except for the existence of the provisions of section 6 of the Basic Government Law on appointment.
It is also proposed to stipulate that upon the establishment of the government, the head of the largest faction that is not one of the factions that will form the government may request that the Knesset vote for the approval of no more than a quarter of the number of designated ministers, if in his opinion there is doubt as to whether they meet the eligibility conditions according to section 6 of the Basic Law; If the Knesset decided to approve the request of the head of the major faction, that person will not be appointed as a minister even if the Knesset expressed confidence in the government.
It is also proposed that in addition to a minister in the government, the forty members of the Knesset would be entitled to demand that the Prime Minister inform the Knesset if the eligibility conditions are met for the minister according to the provisions of Section 6 of the Basic Law detailed in the demand.
In addition, it is proposed to establish that the Knesset will be entitled by a decision of the majority of its members to remove a minister from office, according to the recommendation of the Knesset committee at the request of at least forty members of the Knesset; A minister who has been transferred from his position as mentioned above cannot be appointed again as a minister or deputy minister during the term of office of that Knesset. Finally, it is proposed to state that the eligibility conditions that apply to ministers will also apply to deputy ministers. It is also proposed to establish an additional eligibility condition, according to which no one who has not yet reached the age of 21 will be appointed minister.
The explanatory notes to the proposal read: “The appointment of ministers by the Prime Minister and with the approval of the Knesset, as well as the decision to remove them from office, are actions and decisions that are at the ‘core of democratic activity.’ Ministers to serve as members of the government.”
MK Ofir Katz presented the proposal and said: “We believe that the proposal will strengthen the position of the judiciary, which will return and focus on those areas in which it has priority and advantage over the other authorities, and will not restrict the legislative authority.
I think that the many amendments to the bill, the upheavals it underwent in light of the comments of the legal counsel and the comments heard in the committee hall, illustrate the great importance of the parliamentary debate we held, the seriousness with which all of us, all the members of the committee, took our task as members of the Israeli Constituent Authority.”
MK Gideon Sa’ar: “What motivates all these amendments? Is this a broad constitutional view, some deep insights to improve and change our system of government? Only personal interests. The law we are discussing now – its goal is transparent, to try to ensure that one person whose appointment as a minister was invalidated by the High Court, is still appointed as a minister, despite the ruling.”