Sunday, April 3, 2011

FDC from Israel/FDC de l'Israël

ATM - Knesset

The Knesset (Hebrew: הַכְּנֶסֶת‎ Arabic: الكنيست‎) is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.

The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset enacts laws, elects the president and prime minister (although he or she is ceremonially appointed by the President), supervises the work of the government, reserves the power to remove the President of the State and the State Comptroller from office and to dissolve itself and call new elections.

The Knesset has de jure parliamentary supremacy and can pass any law by a simple majority, even one that might arguably conflict with the Basic Laws of Israel, unless the basic law includes specific conditions for its modification; in accordance with a plan adopted in 1950, the Basic Laws have themselves been adopted (and occasionally amended) over the course of the years by the Knesset, acting in its capacity as a Constituent Assembly.

In addition to the absence of a formal constitution, and with no Basic Law thus far being adopted which formally grants a power of judicial review to the judiciary, the Supreme Court of Israel has in recent years asserted its authority, when sitting as the High Court of Justice, to invalidate provisions of Knesset laws it has found to be inconsistent with a Basic Law.The Knesset is guarded by the Knesset Guard.

The size of the Knesset, currently at 120 members, has often been a source of cause for proposed reforms. In 1996, then-Justice Minister Yossi Beilin backed the ultimately unsuccessful institution of the so-called "Norwegian law", which would require appointed members of the cabinet to resign their seats in the Knesset and allow other members of their parties to take their positions while they serve in the cabinet; this would have resulted in more active members of the legislature being present in regular sessions and committee meetings. This proposed law has also been favored by other politicians, including Yitzhak Levy (who has backed the raising of total seats to 150) and current prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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