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Former Israel Supreme Court head opposes bid to restrict court review power

[JURIST] Meir Shamgar [official profile], the president of the Israeli Supreme Court [official website, in Hebrew] between 1983 and 1995, has signed a public petition against Israeli Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann's recent proposal to restrict the ability of the Supreme Court to overturn laws [JURIST report] passed by the Israeli parliament, the Knessett [official website]. The petition, to be officially published Friday, states that "abolishing substantive judicial review endangers the freedoms that have been legislated to date...[and will not] advance the rule of law" but erode it because "a majority of Knesset members" could, at any time, restrict fundamental freedoms granted to Israeli citizens.

The proposal would also grant the Knessett the authority to revise laws overturned by the Supreme Court, thereby renewing those laws' validity. The proposal would allow the Knesset to overturn a Supreme Court ruling with an ordinary one-round of voting. Current laws requires a 61-majority in the 120-member body in three rounds of voting to overturn the Supreme Court. Haaretz has more.

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