Academic Year 2012-2013
Dr. Michal Tamir is Associate Professor at Shaárei Mishpat College of Law. She earned her LL.B from the University of Haifa, magna cum laude (Valedictorian); her LL.M from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, summa cum laude (Valedictorian) and her LL.D (JSD) from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the 2006 academic year, she was a Global Research Fellow in the Hauser Program, NYU School of Law. In addition to two books Selective Enforcement and The State Comptroller: Critical Look, Dr. Tamir published numerous articles in leading Israeli and American Law Reviews. Her main teaching and research topics are Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Tender Law.
Human Rights in Private Law: The Vision of the Prophets of Israel
The public-private sphere as perceived by the Prophets of the Bible and its repercussions on contemporary constitutional law in Israel
"Safed Rabbis called on Jews to refrain from renting apartments to the city's Arabs;" "Kiryat Malachi inhabitants refuse to rent apartments to Ethiopians." In legal terms, individuals claim and exercise "sole and despotic dominion" over their private territory in order to avoid contracting with certain minority groups. The outcome of such behavior in private law is exclusion in the public sphere. Is freedom to exclude available to the individual or has the value of equality also permeated private law? What does the world of Jewish tradition have to say about it?
Israeli law has been undergoing a process of dissolving the dichotomy between the public and the private sphere on several levels. The research will focus on integrating the protection of human rights within private law. The aim is to show that this process can also derive inspiration from Jewish tradition, thereby breaking the paradigm of the absence of a discourse of rights in Jewish law. The research will explore the Vision of the Prophets of Israel and the ideal society that they preached through their actions. The texts will be reviewed with special attention paid to the following: distinguishing between legal and educational intent; identifying safety-valve concepts which serve as a channel to instilling values; and identifying phrases which have direct bearing on human rights in private law.
The research will postulate that the concept of "otherness" is a basic experience stemming from the biblical text as part of the initial experience of the Jewish nation in Egypt and as a basic assumption of its methodology. Accordingly, the text recognizes the meaningful obligation toward the "other" in an evolving Jewish society. The Words of the Prophets may help to instill the crucial insight whereby exclusion in private law jeopardizes Israel's very existence, both as a Jewish and as a democratic state.