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date: 21 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Israel’s constitutional setting and “unwritten” constitution have evolved over the years, influenced by actions of the Supreme Court of Israel and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Israel’s constitutional status, with its constitutional structure not formally entrenched in writing, leaves many specific principles of the constitution and their impact more uncertain in many cases than might be the case if there were a more formalized, “written” constitution, something to which Israel committed itself almost seven decades ago. Structures of the constitution, including the Basic Laws, are constitutional but are not the same as having a constitution, and this situation leaves the proper role of the Supreme Court in Israel open to debate. The constitutional system has direct and clear influence over the operation of day-to-day politics and affects a wide range of political and structural factors in the Israeli political world.

Keywords: constitutional setting, Supreme Court, “unwritten” constitution, written constitution, role of the courts, parliament, Knesset

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