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Let’s be “reasonable”: Amicus Curiae – A Friend to the Court

Adam Teva V'Din will act as a Friend to the Court in hearings in the High Court of Justice of multiple petitions against the July 2023 amendment cancelling the reasonableness doctrine.

Adam Teva V’Din has been recognized as “amicus curiae” (Latin: a friend to the court) in the High Court of Justice’s hearings of multiple petitions filed against the Coalition government’s July 2023 legislative amendment cancelling the doctrine of reasonableness.

In July 2023, the government – with the support of the Minister of Environmental Protection – approved a new Basic Law which will de facto limit the judiciary’s ability to protect environmental human rights. The cancellation of the “concept of reasonableness” grants the government a free rein to make arbitrary and offensive decisions, with Israel’s environmental protection likely to be an early victim. 

As Brian Israel, Chair of Friends of Israel’s Environment previously wrote:

“…The Israeli Supreme Court has developed a jurisprudential principle called “reasonableness” pursuant to which the Court can overturn government decisions that are not based upon sound discretion. This concept is similar to the principle in U.S. courts where government decisions can be overturned if they are deemed to be ‘arbitrary and capricious’. Pursuant to this reasonableness concept, Adam Teva V’Din has secured dozens of judicial victories over the years, protecting natural resources for future generations and ensuring that environmental laws are appropriately enforced.” (Read his full message here)

To give a contemporary example of how we, at Adam Teva V’Din, used “reasonableness” to save both the environment as well as human life, we need only look back six weeks to the explosion at Nof Yam, Herzliya. The site of the explosion was used for decades as a military industrial facility that had been assigned for construction of 4,000 housing units. Adam Teva V’Din fought to have this plan cancelled as it was “unreasonable” to build on contaminated land, that had not been surveyed or cleaned. Eventually, the Supreme Court agreed with us that it was not reasonable to build homes on that site. Thankfully there were zero casualties from the explosion.

We at Adam Teva V’Din promise to do everything in our power to continue to support an independent, professional and liberal legal system – one that will protect our right to breathe clean air, protect us from carcinogenic chemicals in the public space and protect our right to a decent living environment.

In the current case, Bagatz (The High Court of Justice) denied other organizations’ request to be friends of the court. However, an unanimous decision by all 15 supreme justices accepted Adam Teva V’Din’s request. In doing so, they are recognizing the vital work we do to protect Israelis where they work, live and play.

We will submit our position to the court by September 7, referring to all the important cases where the court ruled in our favor to show how “reasonableness” protects our lived-in environment.

We will continue to turn over every stone so that the public’s environmental rights are guaranteed. Remember, without reasonableness there is no environment – לְלֹא סְבִירוּת, אֵין סְבִיבָה

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Reversal of the Judicial Overhaul’s reforms are vital to our capacity to protect Israel’s environment and all Israelis in the places where they work, live and play.

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רק בעזרת תמיכתך נצליח לשנות את המציאות ולקדם היערכות אמיתית לנזקי משבר האקלים.

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