Israel reform timeline infographic
Graphic shows build up of protests to Israel’s judicial reform plan.


Israel’s judicial reform timeline

By Duncan Mil

January 2, 2024 - Israel’s Supreme Court has struck down controversial legislation passed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government that blocked the court’s ability to overturn government decisions.

The 15 justices of Israel’s top court ruled in an 8:7 majority vote to strike down the amendment to Basic Law on the Judiciary.

The amendment passed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government into law in the Knesset in July has divided Israelis and triggered mass protests over the past 12 months.

Known as the “reasonableness” bill, it removed the power of the Supreme Court to cancel government decisions it deemed to be “extremely unreasonable.”

One of the law’s architects, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, criticised the judges for making it “impossible for the Knesset and the government to legislate basic laws or to make decisions without the judges’ approval.”

Levin called their decision to strike it down undemocratic. Netanyahu’s Likud party said the decision opposed “the will of the people for unity, especially during wartime.”

Yair Lapid -- leader of Yesh Atid, the largest opposition party -- welcomed the verdict, saying on X (formerly Twitter) that the country’s top court had “faithfully fulfilled its role in protecting the citizens of Israel.”

Israel’s leadership has been under pressure domestically for its perceived failure in preventing Hamas’s brutal attack on October 7 and for, so far, proving unable to rescue all the Israeli hostages.

PUBLISHED: 02/01/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images