Constitutionally Conforming Interpretation in Israel

In this article we focus on the Israeli approach toward ‘interpretation in accordance to the Basic Laws’, according to which every interpretive effort must be made to reconcile legislation with protected constitutional rights, rules and basic principles. The paper will review and analyze various cases in which such interpretive method has been exercised instead of invalidation of conflicting legislation. Critically, it argues that the results of an interpretation that differs significantly from the legislative intent, or is detached from the provision’s wording, could be more severe than the act of annulment. Not only that such application of interpretation may conflict with principles of legal certainty but it also conflict with separation of powers, as invalidation of legislation leaves the legislature more room for political maneuvering than an interpretation that can easily result in law-making by the court.