Israel's Constitutional Moment

Yoav Dotan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As the result of the initiation of the 'judicial reform' in January 2023, and the huge wave of public protest, Israel is currently undergoing a political turmoil which may develop into a fully fledged constitutional crisis. In this article I provide an account of the roots and causes of the present crisis from a public law theory perspective. In particular, I discuss the relationship between constitutional and administrative law in Israeli law. I argue that the core of Israel's constitutional structure has always been the institutions of administrative law as created and developed during the 'administrative revolution' of the 1980s. In contrast, Israel's constitutional law has always been a peripheral in the core structure of judicial review over the political branches. Contrary to common wisdom, I argue that the 'constitutional revolution' of the mid-1990s has not changed this core structure, but rather provided an external belt of normative barricades for this core structure. Accordingly, and despite the pretentious constitutional discourse developed in the 1990s by the Court, Israel was and still is a monistic democracy with no true constitutional layer of norms that enjoys higher status vis-à-vis regular legislation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)521-540
Number of pages20
JournalIsrael Law Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press in association with the Faculty of Law, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


  • administrative review
  • constitutional crisis
  • constitutional decline
  • judicial review


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