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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the role of international law in Israeli courts. It traces the influence of the occupation of the territories on the development of Israeli jurisprudence in this area, and focuses on the contexts in which most of the judgments regarding the application of international law in Israeli law were written: the international law of occupation, the law of armed conflicts, and human rights law. As the chapter notes, there is a difference between the formal declared doctrine of the court, and the way in which international law was applied in practice. The formal doctrine of the court follows the U.K. dualist tradition, according to which customary international law is considered part of Israeli law, and international treaty law is not, unless incorporated by an express domestic statute. In practice, however, the courts relied on international treaties, especially in the area of the law of occupation, and the law of armed conflicts. Furthermore, the chapter details the approach of the Israeli courts toward interpretation of international law, and especially with regard to the attempts to create a “fusion” between international law and Israeli constitutional law. The chapter also contributes to existing scholarship by sketching the historical development of Israeli courts’ jurisprudence in the application of international law, including recent developments.

Keywords: Israel, Israeli Supreme Court, occupied territories, international law, Charming Betsy doctrine, law of armed conflicts, international human rights law, refugee law, international law of occupation.

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