Academic Year 2012-2013
Or Bassok earned his JSD and LL.M degrees from Yale Law School where has was a Fulbright scholar and a Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow (2011-12). His recent articles examine the relations between the sociological legitimacy of the American Supreme Court and its normative legitimacy; originalism as a method of esoteric writing; the effects of media coverage on the legitimacy of national high courts and American constitutional identity. Before coming to Yale and after completing his law degrees at the Hebrew University, Bassok served as a defense attorney in the Israeli Defense Forces where he defended soldiers before military courts and the Israeli Supreme Court. His last case before the Israeli Supreme Court dealt with the evidentiary meaning of defendant’s failure to testify in trial (Milstein v. Chief Military Prosecutor).
Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State:
Toward its Constitutional Identity
Establishing national identity based on a constitutional document opens the way to a more inclusive basis of identity than traditional options such as ethnicity. Yet, the idea of constitutional identity, as the basis of national identity, presents challenges both in terms justice and in terms of the nation’s cohesion and viability. My research will examine these questions in the context of Israel’s constitutional identity as a Jewish and democratic state, an identity that is now anchored in its Basic Laws. I will also examine the role of the different players – Knesset, government, the Supreme Court and the public – in giving content to such an identity.