New Law to Expand President’s Pardon Powers

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (Mark Neyman/GPO)
Israel President Reuven Rivlin. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

The Ministerial Law Committee has authorized for Knesset legislation a law that will expand the authority of the President to grant pardons to convicts. The law was proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

The new law would allow the President to use his powers to pardon not only convicted criminals, but professionals who were found guilty of disciplinary matters and were penalized. Thus, a doctor whose license was revoked because of a disciplinary matter could appeal to the President for reinstatement of his license.

The Committee also ratified a second law proposed by Shaked that would allow for the reopening of a case that had been closed by several officials in the Justice Ministry, and not just by the Attorney General, as is the case now. The law was proposed in the wake of a case last year in which a family, in possession of new evidence, demanded that a closed case against a loved one who had been run down in a traffic incident be reopened after 11 years.

“As a great believer in the institution of the presidency, I am sure that the current president and those who succeed him will use the authority given them in a reasonable manner,” said Shaked. “If we rely on their judgement in criminal matters, we can certainly trust it on disciplinary matters.”