The Supreme Court held this morning (Tuesday) a hearing on the petition of the Movement for Quality of Government against the postponement of the date of the transfer of the state budget, the “Hauser compromise.” During the hearing, the judges demanded to hear the government’s explanation that it was in violation of the budget law, but the state representative was unable to provide clear answers. President Esther Hayut wondered “How is the government in violation of the law and has no explanation for this?” And Judge Handel stressed: “It is not possible for the state to have a timetable for submitting the budget proposal.”
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During the hearing, State Representative Advocate Daniel Marx argued before the judges that the reason he did not pass a budget was due to an ongoing political crisis and called it an “exceptional situation.” The judges were unconvinced and repeatedly demanded clear answers. 2020 in the king’s way? “While Judge Handel added:” How can this be justified from the perspective of the Knesset? “Transferring this budget is one of the most important and basic functions of the Knesset.” He emphasized: “It is not possible for the state to have a timetable for submitting the budget proposal.”
Handel asked the State Representative again: “Why was no bill submitted for the budget transfer?” And the State Representative, Advocate Daniel Marks, replied: “I have no answer.” President Hayut said in response: “What kind of answer is this? The government is in violation of a law and my lady has no explanation for this?”.
A spokesman for the National Responsibility Movement, Adv. Gilad Barnea, said: “An important and principled discussion. The judges were attentive and also raised on their own initiative the fact that the government is in violation of a Basic Law since no budget was submitted for either 2020 or 2021. The expectation is that the court will say significant things about the move itself and about the future. “
Advocate Ariel Barzilai, the head of the Movement for the Quality of Government Movement, said that “the Hauser law creates a serious distortion in the police infrastructure in Israel, only because of a petty political dispute between the Likud and blue and white. He emphasized that “in today’s debate, they claimed that this was an abuse of the Knesset’s authority and it seems that the honorable court also understood this. What needs to be done is simply to pass a budget lawfully and under the supervision of the Knesset.”
During the hearing, Judge Handel addressed the Knesset’s attorney, saying that “it sounds like there is no need for a budget at all, that is the responsibility of the Knesset. That is its role. How can the legislation in question be justified?” The president of the Supreme Court added: “What is the reason why a budget for 2020 has not been approved, a government has been formed that is stipulated in the coalition agreement that a budget will be submitted within 90 days?”.
As stated, during the hearing of Adv. Avital Sompolinsky, the Knesset member admitted that the government was in violation of a constitutional norm. Advocate Oshi Elmaleh, CEO of National Responsibility, stated that “the coalition committed an indecent act in the Basic Budget Law, all in order to give open checks in the amount of NIS 11 billion out of coalition considerations. The current coalition continues with narrow self-interested legislation while trampling on any governmental norm. The State of Israel is in an unprecedented constitutional crisis that the High Court must put an end to, and rule – so far. “
It will be recalled that the movement claims that the amendment to the Basic Laws of the Knesset and the Basic Law of the State Economy are unconstitutional and that the Knesset has abused its authority. In the petition, the movement requests a declaratory order from the court, stating that the amendment of the Basic Law is fundamentally void “in view of the serious violation of the principle of separation of powers and the need for the Knesset to supervise the government through the budget.” The movement stated that: “The ‘detailed action plan’, in which NIS 11 billion was added to the state budget, is in fact an unapproved budget.”
In addition, it was argued in the petition of the “National Responsibility” movement, which demands that the Basic Law Knesset, which gives the government the opportunity to distribute NIS 11 billion without public transparency, and compliance with legal and other criteria, is illegal and should be repealed. The petition calls this an “open check” and demands that the court repeal the section in the Basic Law enacted by the Knesset that gives the government this option. In fact, this is a temporary order that postpones the approval of the state budget from August to December this year, and adds NIS 11 billion to the existing budget.
Advocate Gilad Barnea, an expert in public law and representing the association, said that “the government acted in a snatch manner in a way that fatally harms democracy and the procedures for managing the state budget. This, through the creation of an ‘open check’ of NIS 11 billion, for distribution without transparency, without public participation, without distinctions and without complying with basic equality rules and, above all, to satisfy coalition needs. It is unconstitutional and unequal Therefore, we turned to the court to determine that this action should be annulled. “