Israel's Attorney General warns on fatal blow to democracy

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara credit: Natan Weil GPO
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara credit: Natan Weil GPO

Adv. Gali Baharav-Miara today warned that the new government coalition's planned legislative blitz could leave Israel with democracy in name but not in essence.

Israel's Attorney General Adv. Gali Baharav-Miara today warned on the series of bills that the new government coalition plans to enact. She said, "Politicization of the law enforcement system will lead to a serious blow to the most basic principles of the rule of law - equality, the absence of arbitrariness and the absence of bias."

She was speaking at a conference on Public Law at the University of Haifa. Adv. Baharav-Miara added, "If there is even a sense of politicization of the law enforcement system, it will be a fatal blow to its ability to function and a serious injury to public trust. In a democratic country, it is inappropriate to change the relationship between the political echelon and the law enforcement system with lightning legislation."

She added, "The bills currently being discussed, unfortunately called a 'legislative blitz' - cannot be seen on their own. The big picture is important. The accumulation of bills on the agenda - certainly if implemented hastily, without an overall and long-term vision - could disrupt the system of checks and balances between the government authorities."

Commitment to human rights

Adv. Baharav-Miara stressed that she does not dispute the importance of critical thinking in relation to the existing regime structure. "Changes are sometimes forced by reality, but the notion in which it is correct or possible to make a deep change in the fabric of regimes at the stroke of a sword is wrong in my eyes. A fundamental change of regimes requires deep thinking and informed consideration."

She said that the bills on the agenda do not include mechanisms to balance the power of the majority and ensure the state's commitment to human rights. "Whoever wants to make a change in the Israeli system of checks and balances, should clarify how according to their method, the power of the majority will be restrained from harming the minority."

The Attorney General emphasized that there is no dispute that the elected echelon is the one that should govern. "We believe in this, we also assist the government in doing so. This is our role. But without judicial review and independent legal advice, we will remain with the principle of majority rule only. Democracy in name - but not in essence."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on December 15, 2022.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2022.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara credit: Natan Weil GPO
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara credit: Natan Weil GPO
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