Israeli Politics

Judicial Review and Election’s Dirty Tricks in an Age of Hyper-Activism

     One of the recent squabbles in Israeli politics was triggered by the Prime Minister’s decision to remove two of the judges on the panel that had been appointed to elect the winner of the prestigious Israel Prize for literature. Netanyahu openly conceded on his Facebook page that the reason for his decision was political, i.e., that the politics of those two judges (both distinguished professors of literature at top universities) were too leftist and therefore not sufficiently “Zionist” for his taste. Not surprisingly, the decision stirred public outcry.

The Court's decision on reasonableness

In view of the importance of the Israeli Supreme Court’s recent decision in HCJ 5658/23 Movement for Quality Government in Israel v. The Knesset (the “reasonableness” decision) and the broad interest in this landmark case, we have decided to publish a translation of President (emer.) Esther Hayut’s majority opinion at this time, rather than wait until the completion of the translation of the full 738-page judgment.

Summary of cases from the Israeli Supreme Court, 2019-2020

Judgments of Interest:

The Israeli Supreme Court published its annual list of the Court’s most important decisions delivered between September 2019 and December 2020. Below, we present abstracts of selected cases, and links to English translations where available.  The full Hebrew list can be viewed here. We also present a brief list of several recently published articles addressing or drawing upon Israeli law.


Articles of Interest:

Live broadcast of the hearings on the petitions against PM Benjamin Netanyahu

On Thursday, April 30, 2020, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut decided that the hearings on the petitions in HCJ 2592/20 Movement for Quality Government v. Attorney General will be broadcast live on the Supreme Court’s website here.

The petitions challenge whether Benjamin Netanyahu, as a Knesset Member under indictment, can form the next Government and serve as Prime Minister.

Election of a permanent Speaker of the Knesset

Following the elections for the 23rd Knesset, the new Knesset was set to be sworn in on March 16, 2020. In anticipation of the swearing in, a majority of the Knesset requested that the acting Speaker of the Knesset, MK Yoel (Yuli) Edelstein, include a motion for the election of a permanent Speaker on the agenda of that session. The Speaker refused.

Petitions were filed in the High Court of Justice challenging the Speaker’s decision.

Recent Developments in Israeli Law

In this update we report on the Supreme Court’s recent judgment in four challenges to decisions of the Central Elections Committee for the 21st Knesset, an appeal of a judgment of the National Labor Court on the question of whether resignation due to sexual harassment should be deemed  dismissal for the purpose of compensation, and an appeal addressing the question of when organized criminal activity demonstrates the existence of a “criminal organization” under the Combating Criminal Organizations Law, 5763-2003.

Avinoam Sharon, M.A., Adv.


The Deri Appointment: Further Hearing Rules with Bite, Anti-Corruption Rhetoric without Teeth

One of the unique functions of the Israeli Supreme Court is to conduct a “further hearing” – an additional round of adjudication of a case which is not considered an appeal but is usually held, at the Court’s permission, when all other possible proceedings have been exhausted. A recent decision rejecting leave to file a further hearing petition crisply explains when a further hearing may be held but raises questions as to the Court’s role in preventing corruption in government and administrative bodies.


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