Constitutional limits to privatization: The Israeli Supreme Court decision to invalidate prison privatization

Barak Medina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Israeli Supreme Court recently decided to strike down legislation to establish a privately operated prison. The Court's decision to invalidate this legislation is interesting, as it stipulates that prison privatization is unconstitutional per se, irrespective of its specific characteristics or expected outcome. It ruled that executing governmental powers by prison staff employed by a for-profit organization violates the prisoners' basic rights to liberty and human dignity. This essay discusses this position, and points out some of its difficulties. It suggests that while the decision's ultimate outcome can be justified, it would have gained greater (normative) legitimacy if it were based on a constitutional norm prohibiting the privatization of "core" governmental powers rather than on an analysis of human rights.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)690-713
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Constitutional Law
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

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