Barak’s Legal Revolutions and What Remains of Them: Authoritarian Abuse of the Judiciary-Empowerment Revolution in Israel

Chief Justice Barak has been no doubt the most important jurist in Israeli legal history. He singlehandedly transformed the Israeli legal system. In my contribution I will explain the reasons for the resilience of Chief Justice Barak legacy. I will argue that the legacy of Chief Justice Barak has two major components: substantive and institutional. The substantive component includes in particular the protection of basic rights and the pursuit of individualism. The institutional component requires using standards that grants courts broad powers and facilitate judicial activism. Opponents of Chief Justice Barak fall into two camps: those who wish to undo his substantive legacy and those who wish to undo his institutional legacy. Ironically to undo his substantive legacy one has to resort to his institutional legacy. This conflict explains why despite the persistent effort to 'debarakize' the Court, the Court still operates under the shadow of Barak' judicial philosophy.