Israeli premier vows to block bills, protect court

AP News
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 12:54 PM
Israeli premier vows to block bills, protect court

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will block any proposed law that would damage the "strong and independent" Israeli courts system.

Netanyahu was speaking Tuesday at a swearing in ceremony for Israel's new Supreme Court president, Asher Grunis.

"Whenever a bill that might hinder the independence of the courts in Israel reaches my desk, I will block it," Netanyahu said. He said the courts system is the institution that enables democracy and must be protected.

Over the past year a slew of contentious bills were proposed that human rights groups said were designed to muzzle dissent.

Last month Netanyahu stopped a bill that would have allowed the hard-line parties now in power to stack the committee that selects Israeli Supreme Court justices.