Politics, Middle East

Israel’s Netanyahu defends controversial judicial reforms amid protests

Netanyahu says proposed reforms aim to represent voters’ will

Zain Khalil  | 08.01.2023 - Update : 08.01.2023
Israel’s Netanyahu defends controversial judicial reforms amid protests


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended controversial judicial reforms proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, saying the reforms aim to "represent the voter's will."

"The claim that judicial reform is the end of democracy is baseless,” Netanyahu said during his Sunday cabinet meeting.

“The balance between the executive, legislative, and judicial powers has been violated in the past two decades, and more rapidly over the past few years,” he added.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Levin intends to complete by the end of January the preparation of draft laws necessary to advance his reforms, before submitting them to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament).

On Saturday evening, thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv, including current and former Knesset members, to protest against the proposed judicial reforms.

"Netanyahu's government threatens to destroy the entire constitutional structure of the State of Israel," former Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a tweet.

Levin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, plans a comprehensive reform of the judicial system, which if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

The proposed changes will severely limit the power of the Supreme Court of Justice, and give the government the power to choose judges, and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the Attorney General.

*Ikram Imane Kouachi contributed to this report

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