Pro-reform protesters rally outside ex-Supreme Court judge’s home

“The time has come for Aharon Barak to listen to the voices of the people and stop behaving like a legal dictator,” says CEO of right-wing group.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Hundreds of right-wingers demonstrated outside of the home of former Supreme Court chief justice Aharon Barak on Wednesday evening in a show of support for judicial reform.

Barak, who served as the president of Israel’s highest court from 1995 to 2006, has been a vehement opponent of potential changes that would curb the court’s power.

The right-wing Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu organized the protest, which saw protesters gather near the judge’s home in Tel Aviv, holding banners calling the Supreme Court a threat to national security and a dictatorship.

“The time has come for Aharon Barak to listen to the voices of the people and stop behaving like a legal dictator,” Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said in a statement.

“It is time to show responsibility,” he added. “Not to trample on the will of the voter. The majority of the people chose legal reform, and even those who did not choose to reform the judicial system today understand the importance of reform and are working toward it. We must put an end to anarchism and reckless behavior.”

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Notably, during his tenure, Barak openly promoted a judicial activist approach, which saw the court intervene on matters beyond the court’s previous jurisdiction.

Barak decided that the court was not limited to interpreting the law, and could essentially issue rulings as de-facto legislation.

The former judge recently told Hebrew language TV stations that he would sacrifice his life in order to stop reforms to the judicial system.

“If putting me to death would put an end to this drastic shake-up,” he told Channel 12 News, “I’d be prepared to go before a firing squad.”

He added that Justice Minister Yariv Levin’s proposals, which include giving elected lawmakers more say in the process of selecting new Supreme Court justices, were “a string of poison pills” and “the beginning of the end” for the State of Israel.