(Jerusalem) Justice called the Israeli Prime Minister to order on Friday, deeming “illegal” his public intervention the day before on the project to reform the judicial system which divides the country, given his ongoing trials for corruption.
“Your statement yesterday and any intervention by you in [the] process [of adopting the reform] is illegal,” wrote government legal adviser Gali Baharav-Miara, in a letter to Binyamin Netanyahu and published by the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Netanyahu pledged on Thursday evening to “end the division among the people” after nearly three months of massive protests against the justice reform bill currently being considered in parliament.
Mr. Netanyahu, who had so far remained in the background on this issue, announced that he was “entering the scene” and that he was determined to push forward the reform, but that he would do everything to “reach a solution acceptable to both the project’s defenders and its detractors.
“You should avoid any involvement in changes in the judicial system and especially in the process of appointing judges as this places you in a situation of conflict of interest,” writes Ms Baharav-Miara.
On Thursday evening, Mr. Netanyahu announced that the draft law modifying the composition of the judicial appointments committee would be submitted to the vote of the deputies for adoption in plenary session “next week”.
The text was amended in committee to soften the content with a view to achieving a broader vote, but without the support of the opposition, which turned a deaf ear to the call for dialogue launched Thursday evening by the leader of the government, continuing to demand “a pause” in legislative work on reform before any negotiations with the majority.
The legal adviser to the government in Israel, appointed for six years, is at the head of the judicial system, and in particular gives instructions to the state prosecutor.
In May 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that an indicted prime minister had no right to act in an area that could place him in a conflict of interest.
The ministry statement recalls that Ms. Baharav-Miara had already written to Mr. Netanyahu in February to warn him, on the basis of this judgment, against any involvement in the process of reforming the judicial system.