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Israel’s AG won’t defend ‘reasonableness law’ at High Court hearing

Instead, Gali Baharav-Miara will allow Justice Minister Yariv Levin to hire a private attorney.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara at a ceremony for outgoing Supreme Court Justice George Karra in Jerusalem, May 29, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara at a ceremony for outgoing Supreme Court Justice George Karra in Jerusalem, May 29, 2022. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara will not represent the government in a High Court hearing on petitions against the “reasonableness law,” Ynet reported on Wednesday.

Instead, Baharav-Miara will allow Justice Minister Yariv Levin to seek private counsel to represent him in the petitions filed attempting to overturn the key piece of the ruling coalition’s legislative agenda to reform the judicial system.

The attorney general stated that the approval comes “in view of the apparent differences in positions regarding the petitions.” She plans to recommend that the court overturn the amendment to Basic Law: The Judiciary, which she said is “not legal.”

“The AG’s decision is based on the fact that this is an exceptional event, in view of the fact that the petitions deal with precedent-setting and particularly sensitive constitutional issues,” Baharav-Miara wrote.

The court will hear the petitions on the law, an amendment to Israel’s Basic Law: The Judiciary, on Sept. 12, with all 15 judges presiding. The Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, last week issued an order asking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to explain why the court should not strike down the law.

The amendment, passed on July 24 by all 64 lawmakers in the governing coalition, bars “reasonableness” as a justification for judges to reverse government decisions.

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