POSTS BY Alon Harel

Shifting towards a democratic-authoritarian state: Israel’s new Nation-State Law

The 'Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People' was passed by the Knesset on July 19, 2018. The Basic Law purports to entrench the identity of the state as a Jewish state. As this Article is being written several petitions against the Basic Law are being prepared and will be submitted to the Supreme Court. The Court however may find it very difficult to declare the Basic Law void.

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Robuster Konsti­tutionalismus, Bindung des Gesetzgebers, richterliche Normenkontrolle

Der Konstitutionalismus befindet sich in einer Krise. Er ist harscher Kritik bekannter liberaler Theoretiker ausgesetzt (just jenen, die stets seine größten Verteidiger waren) und, wichtiger noch: Er wird in Frage gestellt durch Parlamente, Politiker, Aktivisten und manchmal gar durch Richter. Die wesentlichen Zielscheiben des gegenwärtigen Populismus sind die Verfassung und die Richter, die sie zu interpretieren haben. Dennoch gehen Angriffe auf den Konstitutionalismus nicht nur von Populisten aus. Dieser Beitrag verfolgt daher die Absicht, den Konstitutionalismus zu verteidigen und ihn auf ein neues theoretisches Fundament zu stellen.

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The Israeli Override Clause and the Future of Israeli Democracy

The recent proposals to enact an override clause to the Israeli Basic Law; Human Dignity and Liberty has triggered a fierce public debate in Israeli legal and political circles. Under this proposal, the Knesset could reenact a statute that was declared void by the courts.   As is characteristic of such debates, the proponents and opponents of the override clause claim to defend democracy, strengthen the protection of rights and defend restore the proper balance between different branches of government. The purpose of this post is to explain the background of this debate and evaluate the pros and cons of the override clause in the Israeli context.

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Courts in a Populist World

“I did not come to in order to be loved but in order to voice the sentiments of the public,” said Minister Miri Regev. Meanwhile, an Opposition Member of Knesset exclaimed that “we are here because we reflect and represent the people.”1)Haim Jelin, Yesh Atid (party), Knesset Session/Sitting (3 August 2016) (our translation; emphasis added). […]

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