Banning Torture in Israel: A New Trend in Human Rights’ Jurisprudence?
Junior Research Fellow in Israel Studies
The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies
The Middle East Centre, St. Antony’s College
ABSTRACT: In recent years, Israel’s Supreme Court has been perceived as a bastion of liberal activism. Critics of the Court, however, pointed out that this activism fell short of granting protection to human rights of Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza. Against this background, this article aims to assess the Supreme Court’s involvement in the protection of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, following a 1999 decision in which judges banned the use of torture in interrogation of security suspects. The decision is evaluated both within the framework of Israeli jurisprudence in the field of national security, and in a broader theoretical discussion of judicial policy-making and its ability to foster social change.
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