Rule of law de jure and/or de facto ? : Shamgar and the international law of belligerent occupation
Strenghtening human rights protections in Geneva, Israel, the West Bank and beyond
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2021
The chapter revisits some of the main contributions by Meir Shamgar, who served between 1961 and 1995 as Israel’s Military Advocate General, Attorney General, Judge and President of the Supreme Court, to the development of Israeli jurisprudence relating to the interpretation and application of international law in general, and the law of belligerent occupation in particular. Arguably, the legal structures constructed by Shamgar proved to be resilient because they were based on his deep understanding of international law and commitment to basic legal values. Among the topics discussed are Shamgar’s contribution to subjecting Israel’s activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to rule of law concepts, his nuanced position on the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention, his support for a flexible interpretation of the law of belligerent occupation and the balancing he performed between Israeli security interests and the needs and interests of the Palestinian inhabitants. While this chapter focuses on the work of one exceptional Israeli jurist, it offers broader insights about Israel’s approach to international law and the law applicable to the occupied territories, and about the relationship between international law as a constraint upon political power and as a cloak for the exercise of such power.
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