Examining Truth and Justice at Israel's Supreme Court

American Friends mission gets the inside story on law and order in the Jewish state

Justice Barak-Erez, at center

During a visit to Israel's magnificent Supreme Court building, guests of the "Discover TAU: Campus and Beyond" mission were invited into the privileged chambers of the Supreme Court justices by their newest member — Justice Daphne Barak-Erez, former Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University.

In a private discussion centered on Israel's judicial system, Justice Barak-Erez said that staying faithful to the principles of truth and justice can present challenges as unique as the country itself.

"Sitting where I do today, I see the challenges the justice system faces as akin to those of the state. We are both a Jewish and a democratic state. Our constitutional law follows in the footsteps of British law, but doesn't appear in one formal document," she told the group. "This means that there is more flexibility — but that nothing is absolutely certain."

It's what makes the rulings of the Supreme Court — which every day must decide what is considered constitutional — especially poignant, she said.

Justice Barak-Erez, who first took the Supreme Court bench in May, 2012, assured participants that her connection to Tel Aviv University will always remain strong. "TAU is my second home. I started as a student at TAU's Faculty of Law at 18, and it has been a part of my life for almost 30 years. I truly believe it is the best law school in Israel because of the quality of the faculty and students, who are leaders in the legal field."

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