Publication Palestine / Jordan The Implications of Abolishing Israel’s “Reasonableness” Clause for Palestinians

What recent changes to the Basic Laws of Israel will mean for people in the Occupied Territories



September 2023

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Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israeli Member of the Knesset and far-right Minister of National Security, is accompanied by his bodyguard during the annual flag march in Jerusalem, 18 May 2023. Photo: Vivian Tabar

On 24 July 2023, the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) approved Amendment No. 3 to the Basic Laws of Israel, which effectively revoked the authority of Israeli courts, including the Supreme Court, to exercise judicial review over government decisions and ministerial actions based on the so-called “reasonableness” clause. In practice, this amendment limits the power of the judiciary to intervene in various, wide-ranging government decisions, thereby restricting judicial oversight over the Israeli state’s actions and possibilities for legal examinations the government and its ministers’ actions.

Sawsan Zaher is a Palestinian human rights lawyer specializing in constitutional human rights litigation on behalf of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line.

Abolishing the reasonableness standard has significant implications, particularly for Palestinians, including limiting courts’ judicial scrutiny over government decisions that infringe upon human rights. This recent policy paper from the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Ramallah Office aims to highlight the impact, essence, and scope of this amendment on the rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

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