In Israel, every law approved by the Knesset is signed by the president, the prime minister, and the Knesset chairman. Suppose one of these three (e.g. the president) disagrees with the law and refuses to sign.

Is the law still considered valid? Are the citizens and the courts expected to obey it? I though of two options:

  • The law is considered valid, as the president's signature is just a formality.
  • The president can be forced to sign the law (e.g. by criminal charge), but until he does, the law is invalid.

Which of these options, if any, is correct?

1 Answer 1


The received opinion (November 9 and 23, 2003) under Israeli law is your option 1, under Article 11 §(a)1, which states that "The President of the State shall sign every law, other than laws relating to his powers". The Basic Laws do not give the president veto power over laws. Those were different days, so perhaps the interpretation of the law will have to be decided by the Supreme Court, though the status is the judiciary in deciding legal matters is itself controversial. No current law speaks against the traditional position that the president's signature is symbolic.

  • The discussion at the first link in this answer is somewhat ambiguous and identifies at least one counterexample. It appears to me that the question is not definitively resolved.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Sep 14, 2023 at 22:55

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