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Israel: Prime Minister Contests Attorney General’s Legal Opinion Clarifying Conflict of Interest Rules Ahead of Criminal Trial

(Nov. 9, 2020) On November 5, 2020, Israeli prime minister (PM) Benyamin Netanyahu submitted an objection in Israel’s Supreme Court to a legal opinion issued three days earlier by the Office of the Attorney General (AG) regarding conflict of interest rules that would prevent the PM from using his position to influence his upcoming corruption […]

Israel: Government’s Extended Authorization for Coronavirus-Related Surveillance Approved

(Nov. 4, 2020) On October 12, 2020, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (KFADC) of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) approved for the fifth time, by a majority vote, the government’s declaration authorizing the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) “to carry out aid operations in the effort against the coronavirus” (tracing assistance) in the period from October […]

Israel: Supreme Court Holds City Rabbis Do Not Enjoy Unlimited Freedom of Speech

(Oct. 12, 2020) On September 21, 2020, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, unanimously ordered the minister of justice and the attorney general (AG) to file a disciplinary action against the rabbi of the city of Safed for a series of offensive statements attributed to him. The statements involved disparaging comments […]

Israel: Sex-Offense Suspect Declared Extraditable to Australia after Long Process

(Oct. 12, 2020) On September 21, 2020, Jerusalem District Court Judge Hannah Miriam Lump declared Malka Leifer extraditable to stand trial in Australia for sex offenses she allegedly committed between 2000 and 2008 in that country. (Extradition File 23733-08-14 Israel v. Leifer, Dist. Ct. (Jerusalem), decision by Judge Hannah Miriam Lump, Sept. 21, 2020 (Decision).) […]

Israel: Temporary Restriction on the Right to Protest during Coronavirus Lockdown Adopted

(Oct. 9, 2020) On September 30, 2020, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) plenum, by a vote of 46-38, passed legislation authorizing the government to declare, during a national lockdown, a “special state of emergency due to the coronavirus” and impose travel restrictions and other restrictions on the movement of persons as well as on public gatherings. […]

Israel: Amendment to Basic Law Enables Parties to Rotate Knesset Members Who Become Ministers

(Sept. 10, 2020) On June 15, 2020, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed legislation allowing all ministers and deputy ministers to be replaced as Knesset members (KMs) by members of their own parties upon vacating their Knesset seats. The Basic Law: The Knesset (Amendment No. 49), 5780-2020 (Amendment Law), amends the Basic Law: The Knesset, Sefer HaHukim […]

Israel: Supreme Court Rejects Petition to Relocate or Further Limit Protests Held near Prime Minister’s Official Residence

(Aug. 27, 2020) On August 19, 2020, Israel’s Supreme Court, sitting as a High Court of Justice, rejected a petition filed by 60 Jerusalem residents to relocate or place limitations on protests taking place near the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Protests against the prime minister, who has been indicted on […]

Jamaica: Early Election to Take Place amid COVID-19 Pandemic

(Aug. 26, 2020) On August 11, 2020, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced in Parliament that early elections would be held on September 3, 2020, with “Nomination Day” scheduled for August 18, 2020. Holness stated that the rise in COVID-19 cases and the devastating effects of the pandemic on employment in the country demanded “responsibility and […]

Israel: Knesset Passes Law Authorizing Virtual Hearings with Participation of Prisoners and Detainees

(Aug. 25, 2020) On August 10, 2020, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Law on Holding Virtual Hearings with the Participation of Prisoners and Detainees during the Period of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus (Temporary Provision) 5780-2020 (Virtual Hearings Law). The Virtual Hearings Law regulates the operation of virtual court hearings in Israeli civilian courts […]

Israel: Law Granting Government Special Authorities to Combat Novel Coronavirus Adopted

(July 29, 2020) On July 23, 2020, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed the Special Authorities to Combat the Novel Coronavirus (Temporary Provision) Law, 5780-2020. The law will remain in effect until June 30, 2021. (Special Authorities Law § 50.) Declaration of State of Emergency due to the Novel Coronavirus The law authorizes the government to declare […]