Ruth Gavison

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File:Ruth gabizon.jpg
Ruth Gavison

Ruth Gavison (Hebrew: רות גביזון) (born March 28, 1945, Jerusalem) is an Israeli Law professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her areas of research include Ethnic Conflict, the Protection of Minorities, Human Rights, Political Theory, Judiciary Law, Religion and Politics, and Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

She is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.[1]

Supreme Court nomination

Gavison was nominated for a position on Israel's Supreme Court in 2005 but failed to secure a majority for the appointment.[2] Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann reportedly asserted in 2007 that existing Supreme Court justices opposed her nomination because of their disagreement with her views.[3]

Background and education

  • LLB, 1969: Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • BA,1970: Hebrew University, Jerusalem: Philosophy and Economics.
  • LLM, 1971: Hebrew University, Jerusalem:
  • D.Phil (legal Philosophy), 1975: University of Oxford, England.
  • Clerk to Justice B. Halevi, Israel Supreme Court 1970.
  • Admitted to the Israeli Bar 1971.

She published an essay on privacy in the Yale Law Journal, and edited a volume dedicated to H.L.A.Hart's legal philosophy published by Oxford. Recently, she published an essay about days of rest in divided societies (co-authored with Nahshon Perez), included in 'Law and Religion in Comparative Context', published by Cambridge. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Jewish Review of Books.

Academic appointments

  • From 1969, teaching appointments, Faculty of Law, HU.
  • 1978-1980: Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Yale Law School
  • from 1984: Incumbent, Haim H. Cohn Chair for Human Rights, HU
  • from 1990: Full Professor, Faculty of Law, HU
  • 1990-1992: Visiting Professor of Law, University of Southern California
  • 1998-99: Fellow, Center for Human Values, Princeton University
  • 2011-2012: Fellow, Strauss center for Law and Justice, NYU law school

Public committees

Gavison was a member of numerous Israeli Public Inquiry committees, including the following:

  • 1976: Member, Kahan Committee on Privacy (generated Israel's law of privacy 1981).
  • 1983: Member, committee on the privacy of information in governmental data-banks (generated an amendment to the privacy law).
  • 1987-1990: Member, a public committee on orthodox-secular relationships in Israel.
  • 1994-1997 Member, National Committee for Scientific and Technological Infrastructure.
  • 1996-1997 Member, Zadok committee on press laws
  • 1997-1998 Member, Shamgar Committee on the Appointment of the Attorney-General and Related Issues.
  • 2006-2008 Member, Winograd Commission to investigate the 2006 Lebanon War.
  • 2013-2015, commissioned by the minister of Justice to report on the constitutional anchoring of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

Other public activities

Gavison was a founding member of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) where she served for many years as Chairperson and as President from 1996 to 1999. Professor Gavison was a member of the International Commission of Jurists 1998-2008. In 2005 she founded Metzilah and is serving as it chair and founding president.


  • In 1997, Gavison was awarded the Zeltner Prize for legal research.[4]
  • In 1998, she received the Bar Association Prize, together with Association for Civil Rights in Israel.[4]
  • In 2001, she received the Avi Chai Prize, together with Rabbi Yaakov Medan, for beinging together Israeli society.[4]
  • In 2002, she was awarded the Jerusalem Prize for tolerance.[4]
  • In 2003, she was awarded the EMET Prize.[4]
  • In 2003, she was granted an honorary doctorate by the Jewish Theological Seminar, New York.[4]
  • In 2009, she was awarded the Cheshin Prize for excellence in research by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[4]
  • In 2009, she was granted an honorary doctorate by the Bar-Ilan University.[4]
  • In 2011, she was awarded the Israel Prize, for legal research.[5][6]
  • In 2015, she was awarded an honorary degree by the Open University in Israel.

See also


  1. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  2. Zeev Segal, "Choose the best judge for the job", HaAretz 23 September 2008
  3. Gil Hoffman, "Olmert Scheming Against Winograd", Jerusalem Post, 9 February 2007
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Resume of Ruth Gavison (in Hebrew) Israel Prize website
  5. "Law professor Gavison wins Israel Prize for legal research" - The Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2011
  6. Judges Rationale for grant of Israel Prize (in Hebrew), Israel Prize website

External links