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Judicial reform architect says part will pass into law

The proposed changes to the Judicial Selection Committee are ready for passage, said MK Simcha Rothman.

Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman Simcha Rothman, March 19, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman Simcha Rothman, March 19, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israeli lawmaker Simcha Rothman, a leading figure in the coalition’s judicial reform initiative, said on Monday that some of the legislative package would pass into law regardless of the outcome of negotiations with the opposition.

“I believe that part of the reform will pass…. If there is an agreement, this will be the part that will pass. If not, I believe that we will pass part of the reform, maybe even [the changes to] the Judicial Selection Committee, which is the part that is most ready for a second and third [final] reading [in the Knesset plenum],” the chairman of the legislature’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee told Channel 12.

President Isaac Herzog has been hosting representatives of the government coalition and the opposition at his residence in Jerusalem in an attempt to hash out a compromise on proposed changes to the legal system that have divided Israeli society with massive protests on both sides in recent months.

Rothman said that the “ball is in the hands of the opposition,” noting that if agreements are reached then that is the proposed legislation that will be passed in the Knesset.

“I think everyone understands today that reform is needed; it has almost become a consensus,” the Religious Zionism Party member emphasized.

On Sunday, Channel 12 reported that Justice Minister Yariv Levin is threatening to quit the government unless at least one law is enacted from the legal reform program. He is reportedly demanding that the law be passed by the end of the Knesset summer session, after the approval of the state budget.

“I am not dealing with ultimatums, I am saying very clearly: This coalition, without fixing the judicial system, you won’t be able to survive,” Rothman said in response to Levin’s reported threat.

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