Photo Credit: Alex Kolomoisky/ GPO POOL
Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Avichai Mandelblit.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Tuesday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inclination to limit access to the Supreme Court to directly interested parties. Mandelblit said “the Supreme Court should be fortified and I will do everything to protect it.”

The AG spoke during a good-bye party for Justice Elyakim Rubinstein at the Supreme Court.


It should be noted that any AG would be interested in upholding the exceptional powers of Israel’ Supreme Court, since a stunning number of Supreme Court Justices have originally served as AGs: Menachem Mazuz, Elyakim Rubinstein (who jusdt retired), Itzhak Zamir, Aharon Barak, Meir Shamgar, and Haim Cohen. With his current position potentially landing him the most coveted job in Israel’s judiciary, it’s also understandable that Mandelblit would rather alienate his current boss, Netanyahu, than start fights with the Justices who would one day decide whether or not to vote him into a black robe.

On Sunday, Netanyahu told a forum of coalition party leaders that he is interested in examining a bill proposed by MK Mickey Zohar (Likud), significantly reducing the right to appeal to the Supreme Court in its capacity as the High Court of Justice (Bagatz), and allow access only to organizations or persons who are directly involved in a given petition.

In its function as Bagatz, which is different from its capacity as the countries final court of appeals, Israel’s high court has usurped liberties that are unheard of elsewhere in the civilized world. Among them is the right of petitioners to appeal government decisions without going through the entire chain of appeals, complemented by the fact that one need not be an interested party directly injured by a government action or its later consequences to sue.

AG Mandelblit has already expressed his opposition to the proposed legislation last month, at the Bar Association conference in Eilat, where he said that “the proposal in question violates the High Court of Justice and the rule of law, particularly in difficult cases related to disadvantaged populations.”

Again, Israel is the only country in the civilized world where plaintiffs, no matter how disadvantaged, are permitted to go directly to the top of the appeals process – and without direct connection to the case in question.


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