Israeli High Court rulings on the security wall: National and international effects

Ehud Sommer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the ever-growing significance of international law both domestically and internationally, courts mediate much of the give and take between the international system and the national political arenas, thus acting in settings where global and local are mixed. Such a pivotal position, I argue, lends courts the ability to maximize a twofold utility, which is inextricably linked. First, on the international level, judicial institutions play an increasingly important role and form what is essentially a transnational epistemic community. Second, on the domestic level, courts capitalize on this pivotal position to become increasingly central in the decision-making process, forming alliances with other domestic players and thereby securing the implementation of judicial rulings. A case study of decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court concerning the security fence Israel built around the Occupied Territories is offered as an empirical test for the Court-Pivot Dual Utility Model that I present in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-65
Number of pages23
JournalIsrael Studies Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Beit Sourik
  • Epistemic communities
  • High Court of Justice
  • International Court of Justice
  • Israeli Supreme Court
  • Judicial decision making
  • Mara'abe
  • National security


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