Some 1,500 laws were passed before the Ministerial Law Committee since the current government took office over a year ago – the vast majority of them were rejected, according to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. The figures were released by Shaked, who is also chairperson of the Knesset Justice Committee, as part of a declared policy of “openness in legislation and processes” that she pledged to undertake.
In the Israeli legislative system, the Committee is the first stop for any bill that is to be proposed before the Knesset. The Committee examines the legality of the bill, its purpose and benefit to the public, and the likelihood it has of passing. Bills that are not approved can still be brought for legislation, but the majority coalition MKs are obligated to vote against them.
Of the bills presented to the Committee, 167 were sponsored by the government, and the rest proposals by individual MKs. The Committee approved for legislation 152 of the government’s bills, and 61 of those suggested by the Opposition. Some 200 were rejected outright, while discussions on another 900 were delayed without specifically being rescheduled – a “nice” way for the Committee to reject a bill.
If it sounds like a lot of laws, Shaked agrees. “I have said more than once that the Knesset is far too active in legislating,” she said. “I see the task of the Knesset as a check on the work and policies of the government, not the source of over-regulations that make life hard for individuals and businesses. I will continue to block unnecessary laws and I will continue with my efforts to stem the tide of legislation,” she added.