Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: Israel

  • Another chapter in Israel’s constitutional wars

    It has been a while since we reported here about Israel’s ongoing constitutional (and culture) wars. The right wing government, and in particular members of the governing coalition who represent religious parties, Jewish settlers and nationalist parts of the Russian immigrant community, have long viewed the Supreme Court as a bastion of liberal secularism and leftism.

  • A Supreme Court vs. Religious Authorities Showdown in Israel

    In August 2009 I wrote here about the Israeli Supreme Court ruling that involved a clash between the right to sectarian autonomy in education, and equality rights. A girls-only publicly-funded religious school introduced separation between an educational stream for Ashkenazi Hasidic community girls, and a different stream for Sephardic (Mizrahi) girls.

  • “Targeted killings” yet again?

    An interesting story from Israel. Compliance with judicial scrutiny of “process-light” measures adopted by governments to combat terrorism is certainly not limited to the post-9/11 context. Spain (ETA), Britain (Northern Ireland), or Peru (Shining Path) are merely few examples. In 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court banned the use of torture in interrogations by Israel’s General Security Services, but allowed the use of what it termed “moderate physical pressure.”

  • The ECtHR rules on Greek-Cypriots’ Right of Return; the ECJ rules on the Economic Treaty Status of Jewish Settlements

    Two important rulings from Europe reinforce the increasing significance of supra-national quasi-constitutional regimes in dealing with international political hot potatoes. In a landmark ruling the ECtHR held last week (Demopoulos et al. v. Turkey)that Greek refugees who had fled northern Cyprus during the Turkish invasion in 1974 do not have an automatic, unqualified right of return to their ancestral land.

  • Shoe Throwing at the Israeli Supreme Court

    A strange incident at the Israeli Supreme Court — a person with a record of threatening lower court judges threw his shoes (a-la Iraqi journalist move) at no else than Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch during a Supreme Court hearing in a matter unrelated to the shoe thrower.

  • UKSC rules on Jewish school admission criteria

    As the New York Times and other media outlets report, on Wednesday, Dec. 16 the newly established UKSC released its landmark ruling in a case involving apparently discriminatory admission criteria by a Jewish school in North London. According to the traditional Orthodox Judaism definition, a person may be recognized as Jewish only if his or her mother was Jewish, or if he or she converted to Judaism via Orthodox conversion practices.

  • Israeli Supreme Court says Privatized Prisons Unconstitutional

    Until the early-1980s, Israel’s economy was one of the most centralized in the non-communist world. Over the last two decades, it has undergone considerable liberalization that at times amounted to a local version of an all-out Thatcherite neo-liberalism. During much of the 1990s, the Supreme Court was quite cooperative, granting property rights an elevated constitutional status, eroding the right to strike and collective bargaining, and pushing the right to basic education and childcare beyond the purview of human dignity.

  • Quiet ending (for now) to the debate over judicial appointments in Israel

    A couple of weeks after Justice Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was confirmed, another, longer and more intense struggle over judicial appointments has reached its quiet ending, with the appointment of three new justices to the Supreme Court of Israel.

  • Israel’s equality in education

    Equality in education continues to be a main issue in the ongoing political and culture wars within Israeli society. On August 6, the Supreme Court of Israel, seating as High Court of Justice released an important ruling in a case dealing with a clash between the right to sectarian autonomy in education, and equality rights.