Kagan, Michael. “Limiting Deterrence: Judicial Resistance to Detention of Asylum-Seekers in Israel and the United States.” Texas International Law Journal Symposium: Immigration and Freedom of Movement, February 5, 2015.
Governments have advanced the argument that asylum-seekers may be detained in order to deter other would-be asylum-seekers from coming. But in recent litigation in the United States and Israel, this justification for mass detention met with significant resistance from courts. This essay looks at the way the American and Israeli courts dealt with the proposed deterrence rationale for asylum-seeker detention. It suggests that general deterrence raises three sequential questions:
1. Is deterrence ever legitimate as a stand alone justification for depriving people of liberty?
2. If deterrence is sometimes legitimate, is it valid as a general matter in migration control, or is it limited to certain exceptional circumstances?
3. If deterrence is a legitimate goal, is there any effective proportionality limit on the measures a government may take against asylum-seekers?
The American and Israeli courts did not answer these questions in the same way, and they did not foreclose all potential future uses of deterrence by their respective governments. But they signaled considerable judicial resistance, which may make it more difficult for governments to justify mass detention in the future.
Navot, Suzie. The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis. Oxford: Hart, 2014.
This book presents the main features of the Israeli constitutional system and a topical discussion of Israel’s basic laws. It focuses on constitutional history and the peculiar decision to frame a constitution ‘by stages’. Following its British heritage and the lack of a formal constitution, Israel’s democracy grew for more than four decades on the principle of parliamentary supremacy. Introducing a constitutional model and the concept of judicial review of laws, the ‘constitutional revolution’ of the 1990s started a new era in Israel’s constitutional history. The book’s main themes include: constitutional principles; the legislature and the electoral system; the executive; the protection of fundamental rights and the crucial role of the Supreme Court in Israel’s constitutional discourse. It further presents Israel’s unique aspects as a Jewish and democratic state, and its ongoing search for the right balance between human rights and national security. Finally, the book offers a critical discussion of the development of Israel’s constitution and local projects aimed at enacting a single and comprehensive text.