New Book: Navot, The Constitution of Israel: A Contextual Analysis

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.

Click here for a full Table of Contents (PDF).

Cite: Kedar, Democracy and Judicial Autonomy in Israel’s Early Years


Kedar, Nir. "Democracy and Judicial Autonomy in Israel’s Early Years." Israel Studies 15,1 (2010): 25-46.



The article investigates the question of judicial autonomy in the State of Israel during the first five years of independence. It examines to what extent the government and the Knesset were involved in the procedure of appointing Supreme Court judges, and then discusses the involvement of these authorities in the courts’ ongoing work. An examination of the full range of evidence from the period leads to the conclusion that, since the establishment of Israel, there were no unsuitable attempts to influence judges to issue unfair rulings or to restrict their autonomy in other ways. The mistaken notion that judges in the early years of Israel were not respected or appreciated and that their autonomy was in practice flawed should therefore be abandoned, acknowledging the efforts of the first Israelis to reconcile the complex principles of democracy and the rule of law.




Keywords: Israel: Law, History, Separation of Powers / trias politica / הפרדת רשויות, Jurisprudence, Judges, ניר קידר