Israeli High Court of Justice in Coronavirus Times – The Model of Soft, Continuous Judicial Review amidst Political and Constitutional Turmoil

What is the role of high courts in society during emergency times? According to traditional theory of judicial review, courts are expected to safeguard the rule of law, defend fundamental constitutional principles, protect individual rights and guarantee the orderly function of democratic processes. All these traditional functions may be at stake in the wake of a major event such as the coronavirus crisis.
I seek to review the reaction of the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) to the social and political pressures created by the spread of the virus in Israel. The HCJ is regarded as a strong and interventionist judicial institution. Critics argue, however, that the degree of supervision exerted by the HCJ over both the Israeli bureaucracy and the political branches goes way beyond the traditional role of the judiciary, as envisioned by theorist of judicial review. My aim is to use this analysis of judicial review during the coronavirus times as a test the validity of this creitique.