Working Group on Law and Democracy

Ruth Gavison Lecture -- Can Israel Be Both Jewish and Democratic? - The Quest for (Political) Identity: Between Universalism and Particularism

Tue, February 14, 2012 | GSB 2.126

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Ruth Gavison is the Haim Cohn Professor of Human Rights at the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Founding President of Metzilah – a center for Zionist, Jewish, Humanist, and Liberal Thought. Professor Gavison was a founding member of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), where she served as Chairperson for many years, and as President from 1996 to 1999. She was a visiting professor at the Yale Law School (1978-1980) and the University of Southern California Law Center (1990-1992). She is the author and editor of many articles and several books, among them Legal Activism: The Pros and Cons; the Role of the Supreme Court in Israeli Society (2000) and Where There is No Vision – the People Cast off Restraint: A Meta-Purpose for Israel and Its Implications (2007). Professor Gavison has a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy, an LLB, and an LLM from the Hebrew University and a D.Phil in Legal Philosophy from Oxford University. She earned the Emet Prize in Law (2003), and served as a member in the Winograd Commission investigating the Second Lebanon War (September 2006 to January 2008). She holds honorary doctorates from the Jewish Theological Seminary (2003) and Bar-Ilan University (2009), and is the first winner of the Cheshin Prize for Excellence in Legal Research (2009). She is a noted critic of Israel's "Constitutional Revolution," and has been a vocal critic of, and interlocutor with, Israel's leading jurist, Chief Justice Aharon Barak. In 2011 she received her nation's highest prize -- the Israel Prize. 

See or Announcement for more information.


Sponsored by: Macdonald Chair in Constitutional and Comparative Law, the Department of Government, and the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies

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