Constituting the Separation of Powers by Statute: The Story of Basic Law: The Legislation

One of the main tenets of a constitution is structural provisions, which allocate power among the branches of government; describe the design and responsibilities of each branch; and create a system of checks and balances. In Israel, that function is to be fulfilled by Basic-Law: The Legislation. Debated in the Parliament since the 1970s, this basic-law has been envisioned to settle Israel’s fundamental separation of powers controversies: judicial review, the constitutional limits on the legislative and constitutive powers, and the relationship between the Parliament and the other branches of government.
In the wake of an unprecedented constitutional and political crisis, Israel sees a revived effort to enact this Basic-Law. This paper tells the story of Israel’s constitution’s most crucial missing part, describes the key institutional arrangements under consideration, and provides analysis on how, if enacted, Basic-Law: The Legislation law will reshape the constitution of Israel.