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Proposed Changes to the Israeli Legal System: Background, Process and Outlook

Harry William Baumgarten, Thomas Benjamin Ginsburg, Irwin Cotler, Mohammed Wattad, and Masua Sagiv

In January of 2023, the Israeli Justice Minister unveiled a plan to drastically overhaul the judiciary. Among the changes, the government would have greater control over the appointment of Supreme Court judges. If implemented, the reforms will have far-reaching consequences to the functioning of the Israeli government in its entirety and society as a whole. The judiciary, as a prime protector of the balance of power in Israel, is also seen by many as the final arbiter for human rights protections. This panel will discuss the road up to the proposed reform and delve into the criticisms and justifications for the most consequential changes. The panelists will discuss how the proposed system would work in practice and what it would mean for the future of democracy in Israel.