Request to Annul Supreme Court's Ruling Concerning National Democratic Assembly Party

HCJ 2247/02, MK Azmi Bishara, et al. v. Avner Erlich, et al.

A petition and appeal were filed in 3/02 on behalf of MK Azmi Bishara and the NDA political party against Avner Erlich and others, seeking the extraordinary remedy of canceling a 1999 Supreme Court judgment. While the Supreme Court dismissed the original appeal seeking the NDA's disqualification from running in the 1999 Knesset elections, the Court noted in its ruling, inter alia, that MK Bishara and the NDA party had been "dangerously close to the line that should not be crossed." Adalah argued that the Court had no jurisdiction to discuss the merits of Erlich's appeal seeking to disqualify the NDA party from the 1999 national elections; that the proceedings were fundamentally unfair as MK Azmi Bishara was not afforded the right to be heard; and that the ruling is being used in a prejudicial manner in the context of the criminal cases pending against MK Bishara.

Result: In 2/03, in an unprecedented ruling, the Supreme Court issued a de facto cancellation of statements made in its 1999 decision. The Court stated that the statements contained in the Erlich case against MK Bishara and the NDA cannot be used against them, because of the undisputed facts that they were not present at the hearing, were not notified by the Court, and did not have the opportunity to explain or to respond to allegations against them. Based on the Court's statement, agreed upon by the parties, Adalah withdrew the petition. While the 1999 Supreme Court decision was not cancelled, the new judgment effectively deprives it of any legal authority.

(H.C. 2247/02, MK Azmi Bishara, et al. v. Avner Erlich, et al., decision delivered on 17 February 2003)

 The Supreme Court decision in English translation