Knesset Approves Cancellation Of Disengagement Law, Override Law, Incapacitation Law At First Readings


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a significant step towards implementing the judicial reforms announced by Justice Minister Yariv Levin in January, the Knesset passed on Monday the initial reading of three new laws. The most prominent law is the Override Clause, which stipulates that the Supreme Court can only repeal laws, alter them, or limit their validity if at least 12 out of the 15 judges on the bench vote in favor of doing so.

The bill also states that in the event that the Supreme Court strikes down a law, the Knesset can reenact it via the Override Clause if a majority of at least 61 members of the Knesset vote in favor of doing so, and that the Court may not strike the law down again.

The main ramification of the override law concerns the Draft Law, as successive governments have attempted to enact legislation anchoring draft exemptions for yeshiva students in law. Yeshiva students were first exempted from the draft at the very founding of the State, but appeals have been made throughout the years to the Courts, arguing that the situation is unfair, and legislation passed by several governments has been repeatedly struck down by the Supreme Court, even though the principle of judicial review itself is not anchored in any Israeli law. The chareidi parties hope that the override law will finally enable them to legislate the draft exemptions for yeshiva students without the court revoking the laws.

This proposal was approved by a majority of 61 to 52.

Another law approved on Monday for initial reading concerned the possibility of the attorney-general declaring the prime minister’s incapacitation. The new law would prevent such an eventuality as it stipulates that a Prime Minister can only be declared unfit for office as a result of physical or mental inability to carry out his duties, and only by the Prime Minister himself or by the vote of three-quarters of the members of the Cabinet.

Should the Prime Minister object to putting the decision to the Cabinet, it would go to the Knesset, where at least 90 MKs would have to approve the move.

The bill passed with a majority of 61 to 51

A third law proposed on Monday would cancel the Disengagement Law, enabling Israelis to legally return to the places in Northern Samaria abandoned during the 2005 disengagement. The main benefit would be to residents of Chomesh and the yeshiva in Chomesh, which has suffered numerous evacuations by the IDF over the last few years. Residents of the other communities dismantled are also considering whether to return to the region.

The law passed its initial reading by a majority of 40 to 17.


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