Judicialization in this article is the predisposition to find a solution in adjudication to types of dispute that had been settled previously in a socio-economic-political framework. “Legislative judicialization” (or over-legalization) is also a predisposition according to which the variegated spheres of our lives need to be regulated through a formal code of laws. In the political arena the questions relating to judicialization are: Is the assumption that legal decisions are able to save politics – mainly democratic values and abiding by the derived rules of the game – a valid one? Can one institution of the political system (broadly defined) – the law court – rescue the two other, the parliament and the government, in difficult times? Assuming that “successful” intervention by the judicial institution will cause the other two to abide strictly by the rule of law, could it at the same time curb their effective steering capacity, which is their main task? And conversely, if the steering capacity and the leadership ability to make “good” decisions are so flimsy – would it not be desirable to have judicial review to ensure that the political institutions at least make “proper” decisions that are not extremely unreasonable? These are the main questions discussed in this article.
The findings regarding the judicialization of politics point out not only to the eagerness of the law courts, but mainly to the weakening of the political system, to the point where the Knesset, the Government and the political parties find it most difficult to function without the assistance given them by the law courts. And yet, did the judicial branch “save” the other two branches? Obviously, this has not happened thus far. In Israel, a profound democratic deficit exists in the political system due to the fact, among other things, that the political institutions are incapable of coping with the continuing internal and external crises. In Israeli society, judicialization is but a symptom of a wide-ranging predicament that requires a richer bill of fare than more laws and more adjudication. It consists of: the social grounding of democratic values; renewal of trust and confidence in the political institutions; strengthening the political parties; recognition of the contribution of civil organizations and the media; strengthening the local authorities, and more. This is the real arena, because there is a breaking point to the over-judicialization of the public sphere beyond which lies total anarchy.