Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Jonathan Edelstein, the Head Heeb, is a New York lawyer. On his weblog he gives proof of an indepth interest and knowledge of what is going on in many different corners of the world. Israel and the Palestinian territories are one of those corners, and Jonathan often has a balanced and insightful opinion on events and developments here. In this posting he describes ( and ranges ) the supreme courts in ten countries. Here is what he has to say about the Supreme Court of Israel ( nr. 6 on his list ):
From its inception, the Israeli high court has shouldered a difficult burden: it has administered justice during a constant state of emergency, without a written bill of rights and within a system composed of a patchwork of national and religious legal traditions. Even with the best of intentions, these conditions lend themselves to erosion of the rule of law. Far from acquiescing in such erosion like many courts in similar circumstances, however, the Israeli court has become one of the world's most active watchdogs, building a solid base of human-rights precedent and not hesitating to challenge the political branches of government. As such, the high court is one Israeli institution that is respected throughout the world; its rulings are cited as a model for balancing freedom and security during wartime; its interrogation methods decision has become one of the standard refutations of the "ticking bomb" justification for torture, and its case law has been relied upon even in countries like Malaysia which normally have frosty relations with the Jewish state.

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