Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (New Right) on Monday morning attacked former supreme court president Aharon Barak, and vowed to abolish his constitutional revolution.
Former Justice Barak’s decisions as President of the Supreme Court impacted many aspects of life in Israel, as he championed an extremely proactive judiciary that interpreted Israel’s Basic Law as its constitution, and annulled numerous Knesset laws on that basis – without any legal authority from the legislator to do so.
“In the past 30 years, Aharon Barak has led a coup,” said the justice minister. “He brought to the High Court powers that no one had given him.”
Shaked, who spoke at a conference of heads of regional councils at the Carmel Forest Hotel, said that “the constitutional revolution of Aharon Barak gradually paralyzed the systems of government in Israel. Ministers are afraid to make decisions. Legal counselors control the government. The State of Israel is stuck and confused.”
Shaked said that “over the past four years I have promoted a counter-revolution by appointing much more restrained judges. And now it is time to complete the job. In the next government, we will demand in the coalition agreements that all the parties support my initiatives on the judiciary.”
Still, despite her bragging about her success in restraining the supreme court, last week most of her appointments voted along with a judicial panel that interfered in a decision of the Knesset election committee to bar an Otzma Yehudit faction candidate, Dr. Michael Ben Ari, from running.
Two weeks ago, the justice minister presented her “100 Days to a Judicial Revolution,” with five main points, the most crucial of which is eliminating of the Committee for the Appointment of Supreme Court Justices – where new justices are appointed, essentially, by themselves and by attorneys who are bound to face them in court.
Instead of the committee, Minister Shaked will empower the Knesset to vet supreme court candidates in public hearings, much the way this is done in the US Senate.