Constitutional Adjudication of International Law Violations

On June 9, 2020, the Israeli Supreme Court delivered its long-awaited decision regarding the 2017 Settlement Law. The Court invalidated the Law by an 8 to 1 majority, determining that it violated the constitutional rights to property, dignity and equality. In addition to the importance of the concrete decision, the ruling raises important issues regarding the applicability of Israeli constitutional law to the Occupied Territories, the role of international law in the context of constitutional review in Israel, and the relevance of the answers to these issues in the case of a possible upcoming annexation of the West Bank.

Continue Reading →

Is it the Court’s Role to Save a Country from Itself?

On May 6, 2020, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected eight petitions against PM Netanyahu’s rule as PM and against the unity agreement between Netanyahu and his former contender, Benny Gantz (“the Unity Agreement”). The unanimous decision was delivered by an expanded panel of eleven judges, who emphasized that despite the severity of the allegations against Netanyahu, there was no basis, in Israeli law, for disqualifying him.

Continue Reading →

Corona Constitutional #12: Netanyahu widerstehen

Die Bilder aus Tel Aviv vom letzten Sonntag haben viele beeindruckt: Eine Massendemonstration mitten in der Coronakrise, Tausende von Menschen, die ihren Protest gegen die Regierung Netanyahu mit ihrer physischen Präsenz unterlegen und dabei – das ist das besondere,
– social distancing wahren. In Israel ist vieles besonders in diesen Tagen, die Pandemie trifft auf eine politische und eine Verfassungskrise, dem Regierungschef droht die Anklage und um ihr zu entgehen, nimmt er immer größere Schäden an der Verfassung in Kauf. Wie sich Demokratie und Rechtsstaat schlagen in diesem Konflikt, darüber spricht Max Steinbeis mit TAMAR HOSTOVSKY BRANDES.

Continue Reading →

Constitutional Crisis in Israel: Coronavirus, Interbranch Conflict, and Dynamic Judicial Review

The Covid-19 pandemic hit Israel in fragile political and constitutional times. After three consecutive national elections and during unprecedented and continuous constitutional crisis, it has deepened an interbranch conflict that has led to the High Court of Justice (HCJ) taking part, in real time, in a dynamic judicial review. The HCJ not only facilitated the functioning of the parliament but also expedited its oversight on the government’s use of emergency powers.

Continue Reading →

Israel’s Perfect Storm: Fighting Coronavirus in the Midst of a Constitutional Crisis

A notable characteristic of the Israeli management of the crisis is the growing reliance on the military and on national security agencies, with respect to both types of measures. The sections below will examine the measures taken, the concerns these measures raise, and the steps taken to address such concerns.

Continue Reading →

When the Coronavirus Crisis Turns into a Crisis of Democracy

The ongoing political crisis in Israel raises the question of whether the government acts fully in good faith when deciding on measures to fight the spread of COVID-19. The current situation, in which the parliament is hindered from functioning and in which emergency regulations directly benefit the personal situation of the current Prime Minister, raises doubts about this.

Continue Reading →

An Open Letter to the Speaker and the Legal Advisor of the Knesset

Following the March 2 election, Prime Minister Netanyahu has the support of 58 Knesset-Members. In contrast, 61 Knesset-Members have come out in support of Benny Gantz. In light of this majority, earlier this week Gantz was tasked by Israel’s President the mandate to try and form a government. Against this backdrop, on Wednesday, Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein unexpectedly suspended the recently elected Knesset.

Continue Reading →

Slowing or Stopping the Turn to Authoritarianism in Israel

The elections will not bring any change with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the religious conflict or the growing inequality. But they are important and even crucial for the future of Israel as they are most likely to slow and perhaps block the erosion of the protection of civil rights in Israel and the slow but continuous transition of Israel from a liberal democracy to an authoritarian one.

Continue Reading →

What Difference Does it Make to Fully Annex the Quasi-Annexed Occupied Territories?

Whether or not Netanyahu’s era of prime minister of Israel is coming to an end, his campaign announcement that Israel will unilaterally annex at least parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories should not be dismissed. First, because this possibility has long ceased to be a political taboo in Israel. Second, and more importantly, because in many ways, a sub-official process of partial annexation is already taking place in Israel, to a large extent, under the radar of the international community.

Continue Reading →

36 Jahre Sabra und Shatila und die Frage der Strafverfolgung

Das Massaker von Sabra und Shatila wurde zum Sinnbild für die Grausamkeiten des Libanesischen Bürgerkrieges. In dieser Woche jähren sich die Ereignisse zum 36. Mal. Grund genug der Frage nachzugehen, ob eine etwaige Strafverfolgung gegen die aktiv beteiligten Milizionäre durch deutsche Strafverfolgungsbehörden auch heutzutage noch möglich wäre.

Continue Reading →