Summer School in Israeli Law
n collaboration with Tel Aviv University Buchman Faculty of Law
and with generous support of the Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education’s
9–18. September 2019, Room 403 Collegium Iuridicum I (3rd floor, west staircase).
The course offers a cursive introduction to a unique legal system of mixed jurisdiction, deeply rooted in the continental tradition, yet applied the Anglo-American way. It will tackle the constitutional challenges: citizenship and nationality dilemmas and the role of the religion(s) in the state legal system. International criminal law will be discussed in the context of a conflict circumstances as well as the historical antecedents. The course would also cover procedural issues, by discussing various social dilemmas that arise with regard to the way courts determine factual findings and how these dilemmas shape evidence law. Private and commercial law will be discussed, as well socio-economic rights and legal equality in a mixed society. Each module will require some moderate preparation/self-study with the provided materials (ca 50 pages reading).
Upon completion of the course students are able to
- identify and describe the main features of the Israeli legal system in its political, social, and religious context.
- comprehend and explain the role of law as a social regulator, with its ethical, communal, and business implications.
- understand the core concepts of privacy in the Digital world and reflect on their particular situation in this respect.
- reflect on justice-restorative function of law in its historical and contemporary context, and critically appraise the dilemmas therefrom arising;
- understand basic concepts of law and economics approach and exemplify them;
- appreciate variability of solutions of legal problems in a foreign legal system in comparison to the system adopted in his/her own country.
- explain and critically discuss selected legal institutes in comparative perspective;
- develop their proficiency in English for law.
Module 1: Introduction to Israeli Law
Shani Schnitzer, TAU Buchman Faculty of Law
- Israeli Law is an intricate mosaic of various legal traditions, historical sources and jurisprudential influences. This module aims to shed light on its unique, multi-faceted hybrid nature, by way of exploring the roots, evolution and current structure of the Israeli legal system.
Module 2: Israeli Constitutionalism
Elyakim Rubinstein, late Justice and Vice-President of the Supreme Court
- While Israel does not have a full fledged “formal” constitution, it has Basic Laws that have been construed by the Supreme Court as authorizing Judicial Review. The course will describe the history and application of the above, as well the appointment of Justices and work of the Supreme Court, seen, in particular from the teacher’s perspective as the High Court of Justice.
Module 3: Israeli Corporate Law
Prof. Sharon Hannes, TAU Buchman Faculty of Law
- The Israeli capital market has two prominent characteristics. First, it is a market typified by concentrated ownership, in the sense that most publicly traded companies have a controlling shareholder. Second, business groups control a large share of the companies traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange, as well as other closely held business enterprises. These two features combined create an increased potential for self-dealing transactions and other manifestations of conflict of interest. Indeed, in Israel this market setting served in the past as a fertile ground for the emergence of a severe agency problem between the controlling shareholder and the minority shareholders. Common measures for the extent of this conflict (or agency problem) highlighted in the past that the Israeli market suffers from a serious challenge that requires attention. In response, during the past 15 years, the Israeli system went through major legal reforms, aimed explicitly at tackling this very problem. In this short course we shall discuss the legal reforms that took place in the Israeli market and assess the current extent of the agency problem by measuring private benefits of control in Israel following the reform. Does Law matter? Although causation is hard to prove, the preliminary results we have today are quite remarkable and telling. In turn, the Israeli experience may be helpful for other economies.
Module 4: Law and Religious Law in the State of Israel
Prof. Melech Westreich, TAU Buchman Faculty of Law
- In principle, the law of the State of Israel is modern Western law, but religious law has still plays an important role in it. In this mini-course we find out the extent to which religious law is present in Israeli law. We will discover that in certain family matters, especially the duty to support a spouse or children, a body of religious law is incorporated into the law of the state, and it is applied, with modifications, by the civil courts. Whenever there is a lacuna in the law, the courts must rely on principles derived from Jewish law to fill it. In some topics related to matters of bio-ethics, the legislator provides a standing to religious persons and orders that they be consulted. In some cases, such as bigamy and the religious marriage contract, the related statues must take into account the religious legal institutions.
Module 5: Israeli Family Law
Prof. Daphna Hacker, TAU Buchman Faculty of Law
- The mini-course will provide an introduction to Israeli family law, with its unique dual civil and religious legal systems. While an exceptional case-study, Israeli family law highlights the challenges and dilemmas currently faced by other jurisdictions, such as the tension between religious and traditional notions of family and the demand for gender equality; and the ability of citizens to forum shop for family laws in other countries. We will discuss, in particular, marriage and divorce laws, as well as transnational surrogacy.
Module 6: Equality and Socio-Economic Rights in Israel
Prof. Aeyal Gross, TAU Buchman Faculty of Law
- This unit will offer an introduction to issues of human rights in Israel, with focus on three contexts all touching upon the axis of equality. It will be thus divided to three parts:I. socio-economic rights in Israel – and what we can learn more generally about the relationship between “civil rights” and “social rights” from the Israeli case.
II. lgbt rights – how did Israeli law develop in the context of lgbt equality and what is the socio-legal context of these developmentsIII. human rights and military occupation – since 1967 Israel controls territories beyond its borders known as the Occupied Palestinian Territory – what is the legal framework relevant to this territory and to the protection of human rights in these territories
Monday, 9 September
Room 209, Collegium Iuridicum I (1st floor, middle staircase)
Prof. Tomasz Giaro, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration
Room 403 Collegium Iuridicum I (3rd floor, west staircase).
9.30 am–11 am; Shani Schnitzer, Introduction to Israeli Law I
11.15 am–12.45 pm; Shani Schnitzer, Introduction to Israeli Law II
1 pm–2.30 pm: Justice E. Rubinstein, Israeli Constitutionalism I
Tuesday, 10 September
9.00 am–10.30am: Justice E. Rubinstein, Israeli Constitutionalism II
10.45 am–12.15 pm: Prof. Sharon Hannes, Israeli Corporate Law I
12.30 pm–2 pm: Prof. Sharon Hannes, Israeli Corporate Law II
Wednesday, 11 September
9.00 am–10.30am: Justice E. Rubinstein, Israeli Constitutionalism II
10.45 am–12.15 pm: Prof. Sharon Hannes, Israeli Corporate Law III
12.30 am–2.00 pm: Prof. Melech Westreich, Law and Religious Law in the State of Israel I
Thursday, 12 September
9.00 am–10.30 pm: Prof. Melech Westreich, Law and Religious Law in the State of Israel II
10.45 am–12.15 pm: Prof. Melech Westreich, Law and Religious Law in the State of Israel III
Sunday, 15 September
9.00 am–10.30 am: Prof. Daphna Hacker Israeli Family Law I
10.45 am–12.15 pm: Prof. Daphna Hacker Israeli Family Law II
12.30 pm–2 pm: Prof. Aeyal Gross, Equality and Socio-Economic Rights in Israel I
Monday, 16 September
9.00 am–10.30 am: Prof. Daphna Hacker Israeli Family Law III
10.45 am–12.15 pm: Prof. Aeyal Gross, Equality and Socio-Economic Rights in Israel II
12.30 pm–2 pm: Prof. Aeyal Gross, Equality and Socio-Economic Rights in Israel III
Wednesday, 18 September
9 am–12.00 pm Exam.
- Evaluation: class preparation/work (on the basis of pre-submitted materials/problems)+ written exam