Law and Philosophy

Prof. Hanina Ben-Menahem

Prof. Hanina Ben-Menahem

Montesquieu Chair in Labor Law

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Hanina Ben-Menahem completed his law studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,receiving his license to practice law in 1970. In 1978 he completed a doctorate at Oxford University and began to teach at the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University. He went on to serve as a guest professor at several academic institutions around the world, including Stanford and Harvard. Ben-Menahem founded the law and theater workshop at the Faculty,in which students stage plays on issues of legal relevance. Ben-Menahem’s fields of research are: Talmudic law, the philosophy of Jewish law, Maimonides’ legal thought, the writings of Nietzsche, and law and theater. Ben-Menahem has published numerous books and articles. He is a leading critic of the dominant positivist approach in Jewish law. 


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David Enoch

Prof. David Enoch

The Rodney Blackman Chair in the Philosophy of Law
The Faculty of Law; Philosophy Department
Room 212

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I’ve been a faculty member at the Hebrew U – on a joint appointment in law and philosophy – since 2003.

I work primarily in moral, legal, and political philosophy.

In moral philosophy, much of my work has been in metaethics, where I defend a fairly robust objectivist, realist view about morality and about normativity more generally. According to this view, there are moral (and other normative) facts that do not constitutively depend on us, that we discover rather than create or construct, and that are irreducible to run-of-the-mill natural facts. 

In the philosophy of law I sometimes voice skepticism about the more conceptual parts of the discussion about the nature of law, and I take part mostly in normative discussions about law, such as questions about the right status of statistical evidence, or about the role of luck in morality and law

In political philosophy I develop and defend a comprehensive liberal view – one that does not aspire to the kind of neutrality Rawls’s “Political Liberalism” aspires to. I criticize such Rawlsian views, and I try to accommodate, within liberalism, insights more commonly found among critics of liberalism.

In the faculty of law I usually teach jurisprudence (usually, the part that is really just intro to moral and political philosophy), and sometimes a workshop or seminar at the intersection of law and philosophy. In the philosophy department I usually teach the first-year course “Central Problems in Philosophy”, and various seminars (mostly in metaethics and in political philosophy).



B.A. in Law and Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
PhD in philosophy, NYU


Representative publications

  1. Taking Morality Seriously: A Defense of Robust Realism (Oxford University Press, 2011).
  2. "Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won't Come from What is Constitutive of Agency?, Philosophical Review 115 (2006), 169-198.
  3. "Reason-Giving and the Law", Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Law 1 (2011), 1-38.
  4. "Moral Luck and the Law", Philosophy Compass 5 (2010), 42-54.
  5. "Being Responsible, Taking Responsibility, and Penumbral Agency”, in Ulrike Heuer and Gerald Lang (eds.) Luck, Value and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams (Oxford University Press, 2012).
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Prof. Ruth Gavison

Prof. Ruth Gavison

Professor Emerita of Human Rights

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Ruth Gavison was born in Jerusalem in 1945. She completed her bachelor’s degree in law cum laude from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After interning at the Supreme Court with Justice Benjamin Halevy, she received her license to practice law and began to study for a master’s degree in law at the Hebrew University, while also undertaking undergraduate studies in economics and philosophy. In 1971 she began doctorate studies in the philosophy of law at Oxford University, under the supervision of the British scholar H.L.A. Hart. Her doctorate research examined the legal protection of privacy. In 1974 Gavison joined the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, heading the H. Cohen Chair of Human Rights. Her studies examine issues touching on the relationship between law and morality; issues of religion and state; the nature of law and the relationship between law and the role of the judge; and diverse issues from the field of public law. Gavison is a leading scholar in the field of law and society and a pioneer in the struggle for civil rights in Israel. She was one of the founders of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and served as the association’s chairperson and president. Gavison has received numerous prizes over her many years of legal work, including the Zeltner Prize for Legal Research, the Avi Chai Prize (for her work on the new social covenant between observant and non-observant Jews in Israel), a prize from the Movement for
Tolerance, an Emet (Art-Science-Culture) prize in the legal and social sciences category, and the Israel Prize for Legal Research (2011).

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Alon Harel

Prof. Alon Harel

Phillip and Estelle Mizock Chair in Administrative and Criminal Law
Room 221
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Alon Harel is Mizock Professor of Law and a member of Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality. Professor Harel works in several fields: moral and political philosophy, criminal law theory, constitutional law theory and also law and economics and behavioral law and economics. 

His book Why Law Matters (OUP, 2014) challenges the view that law is merely an instrument designed to render the right or correct in decisions. It maintains that often legal institutions and legal procedures matter as such. For instance, it is argued in chapter 3 of this book that there are certain decisions, eg, the infliction of punishment for crimes that must be made by public rather than private institutions. It also defends the intrinsic value of constitutional directives and of judicial review. 

More recently, Professor Harel has investigated in a series of papers the vices of privatization. In his edited book Companion on Privatization (CUP, 2021), Professor Harel discusses critically the different justifications provided for privatization and, in particular, stresses the distinct role of the state as an institution which represents citizens and acts on their behalf.

Professor Harel works currently on a book on the authority of the state where he argues that ultimately the state’s authority is grounded in its ability to speak in the name of all. This explains why political authority is necessarily public; it represents those who are subject to it and, consequently, those who are subject to it are, in principle, accountable for the authority’ decisions.



LL.B., Hebrew University, (1983) (with distinction).
LL.M., Hebrew University (1985) (with distinction). 
D. Phil. (Philosophy of Law) (1988) (Balliol College, Oxford). 


Representative Publications:

  1. Alon Harel, Why Law Matters (Oxford University Press, 2014).
    a. The Washington Post, Book Review: ‘Why Law Matters’ by Alon Harel, By Will Baude November 6, 2014.
    b. Book  Review:  Why  Law Matters  By  Alon  Harel, Mark  Coombes.
    c. Book Review Debate: Zucca and Harel 15 International Journal of Constitutional Law 301-318 (2015)
    d. Arie Rosen, Book Review 34 Law and Philosophy 699-708 (2015)
    e. Barbara Levenbook, Book Review Notre Dame Philosophical Review 6/10/2015 
    f. Rutgers Symposium on WHY LAW MATTERS Comments by Malcolm Thorburn, Ekow Yankaw, Leo Zaibert, Guyora Binder, Kyron Huigens with a response by Alon Harel 2 Critical Analysis of Law (2015)
    g. Michel Paradis Dignity Under Law New Rambler Review16/12/2015
    h. Yossi Nehushtan, The Case for Modest Constitutional Instrumentalism 30 Constitutional Commentary 639-666 (215)
    i. Jacob Weinrib, Book Review: Why Law Matters 29 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 267-270 (2016).
    j. Leonard Kahn, Book Review 126 Ethics 831-836 (2016). 


  2. Alon Harel, Against Privatization as Such (forthcoming in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 2016) (with Avihay Dorfman).

  3. Alon Harel, The Duty to Criminalize 34 Law and Philosophy 1-22 (2015). 

  4. Alon Harel, Necessity Knows No Law (forthcomingToronto University L.J., 2011) (with Assaf Sharon).

  5. Alon Harel, Commensurability and Agency: Yet Two Unmet Challenges to Law and Economics 96 Cornell L. Rev. 749-788 (2011) (with Ariel Porat).

  6. Alon Harel, The Easy Core Case for Judicial Review  2Journal of Legal Analysis 227-256  (with Tsvi Kahana).

  7. Alon Harel, Criminal Responsibility for Unspecified Offences 94 Minnesota L. Rev. 261-310 (2009) (with Ariel Porat)

  8. Alon Harel, Uncertainty Revisited: Legal Prediction and Legal Postdiction 107 Michigan L. Rev. 467-499 (2008) (with Ehud Guttel).

  9. Alon Harel, Why Only the State May Inflict Criminal Sanctions: The Case Against Privately Inflicted Sanctions14 Legal Theory 113-133 (2008).

  10. Alon Harel, The Economics of Stigma: Why More Detection of Crime May Result in Less Stigmatization 36Journal of Legal Studies 355-377 (2007) (with Alon Klement).

  11. Alon Harel, The Right to Judicial Review 92 Virginia L. Rev. 991-1022 (2006) (with Yuval Eylon).

  12. Alon Harel, Matching Probabilities: The Behavioral Law & Economics of Repeated Behavior 72 University of Chicago L. Rev., 1197-2005 (2005) (with Ehud Guttel).

  13. Alon Harel, Theories of Rights in Blackwell’s Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory,191-206(eds. Martin P. Golding & William Edmundson, 2005).

  14. Alon Harel, The Virtues of Uncertainty in Law: An Experimental Approach 89 Iowa L. Rev. 443-494 (2004) (with Tom Baker and Tamar Kugler).

  15. Alon Harel, Theories of Rights in Blackwell’s Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory,191-206(eds. Martin P. Golding & William Edmundson, 2005).

  16. Alon Harel, The Virtues of Uncertainty in Law: An Experimental Approach 89 Iowa L. Rev. 443-494 (2004) (with Tom Baker and Tamar Kugler).


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Ori Herstein

Prof. Ori Herstein

Room 225
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Professor Ori Herstein joined the Law Faculty at the Hebrew University in 2014. He teaches and writes primarily on tort law, private law theory, and on various matters of legal and moral philosophy.  Professor Herstein obtained his doctoral and master’s degrees from Columbia University Law School and his law degree and undergraduate philosophy degrees from Tel Aviv University. While at Columbia, he wrote his doctoral dissertation under Professor Joseph Raz.  Professor Herstein is also a member of staff at King's College London's School of Law (as of 2012) and has held visiting and fixed term appointments at Harvard University Law School, Cornell University Law School, Columbia University Law School, and Peking University School of Transnational Law.  Currently, Professor Herstein is the director of the Sacher Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law at the Hebrew University and an associate editor for the journal Law and Philosophy. Formerlyhe was co-editor of the Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies (2016-2020) and the co-convener of King’s Legal Philosophy Workshop (2012-2019). Prior to entering academia, Professor Herstein spent two years in private practice as a litigation associate at the NYC offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as well as clerked on the Tel Aviv Circuit Court under Judge Drora Pilpel. Professor Herstein has been admitted to the New York Bar and the Israel Bar.



J.S.D. - Doctor of the Science of Law 
Columbia University Law School, 2008 
Dissertation Supervisor: Professor Joseph Raz  
LL.M. - Master of Laws 
Columbia University Law School, 2004 
LL.B. - Bachelor of Laws 
Tel Aviv University, 2001
Honors: magna cum laude
Undergraduate Degree in Philosophy
Tel Aviv University 2001
Graduate Studies in Philosophy
Tel Aviv University 2001-2003 


Representative publications

Justifying Standing, 20 (7) Philosophers’ Imprint, 1-18 (2020).  

Understanding Standing: Permission to Deflect Reasons, 174 (12) Philosophical Studies, 3109-3132 (2017).

How Tort Law Empowers, 65(1) University of Toronto Law Journal, 99-132 (2015).

A Legal Right to Do Legal Wrong, 34(1) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 21-45 (2014).

Defending the Right to Do Wrong, 31(3) Law and Philosophy, 343-365 (2012).

A Normative Theory of the Clean Hands Defense, 17(3) Legal Theory, 171-208 (2011).  


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Itzhak Kugler

Dr. Itzhak Kugler

Senior Lecturer
Ivan C. Rand Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law

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L.L.B - The Hebrew University

L.L.D. - The Hebrew University


Representative publications in English

(Hebrew representative publications appear in the Hebrew version of this page)

Direct and Oblique Intention in the Criminal Law (Ashgate, 2002).
  1. "On the Possibility of a Criminal Law Defence for Conscientious Objection" The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence(1997) p. 387.
  2. Conditional Oblique Intention" Criminal Law  Review(2004) p. 284.
  3. Two Concepts of Omission" Criminal law Forum (2003) p. 421.
  4. "Necessity as A Justification in Re A (children) The Journal of Criminal Law (2004) 440.
  5. "Israel" in (Kevin Jon Heller & Markus D. Dubber eds.) The Handbook of Comparative Criminal Law (Stanford University Press, 2011) p. 352.


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Ofer Malcai

Dr. Ofer Malcai

Room 204
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Dr. Ofer Malcai has been a faculty member in the Faculty of Law since 2016. His main fields of interest are evidence law, legal and moral philosophy, and the interface between law and complex systems. After receiving his first degree in Law from the Hebrew University, Ofer clerked for Justice Esther Hayut of the Israeli Supreme Court, and then pursued doctoral studies in Law at the Hebrew University, graduating in 2015. Ofer also holds a first degree in physics and mathematics, and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in physics, all from the Hebrew U.   



B.Sc. (Physics and Mathematics), Hebrew University. 

M.Sc. (Physics),  magna cum laude, Hebrew University. 

LL.B. (Law), magna cum laude, Hebrew University. 

Ph.D. (Physics), Hebrew University. 

LL.D. (Law), Hebrew University


Representative Publications

Using Complexity to Calibrate Legal Response to Covid-19, 9 Front. Phys., 650943:1-13 (2021) (with Michal Shur-Ofry), 

Institutions for Collective Action and Social Contagion —Community Gardens as a Case Study, 15(1) Regulation & Governance 63-81 (2021) (with Michal Shur-Ofry), 

Reasonable Self-doubt.15(1) Criminal Law and Philosophy 25-45 (2021) (with Ram Rivlin),

Which Came First, the Procedure or the Substance? Justificational Priority and the Substance–Procedure Distinction, 34(1) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1-19 (2014) (with Ronit Levine-Schnur), http://doi:10.1093/ojls/gqt032


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Ram Rivlin

Dr. Ram Rivlin

Room 202
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Ram Rivlin is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He writes and teaches primarily on theoretical and practical aspects of family law, including contexts in which family law meets private and commercial law (e.g. distribution of marital property, or estate planning); On the interaction between law and religion; And on various issues in which philosophical analysis is relevant to law, in family law and beyond (such as questions about coercion and consent). Ram's research has been supported by various research grants (such as the Israel Science Foundation grant and the GIF Foundation grant), and he has won various awards (such as the Rothschild Prize and the Fulbright Fellowship)Prior to joining the Hebrew University, Ram was a visiting researcher at New York University School of Law, and a fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University. 

During 2021-2022 Ram is on sabbatical at UC Berkeley. 



Hebrew University, Faculty of Law:  LL.D. (2011), LL.M (2004), LL.B (Law and Philosophy, 2002)


Representative publications

The Morality of Get-Threats: Withholding Divorce as Extortion, 18 ICON - International Journal of Constitutional Law  849 (2020).

Fairness in Allocations of Parental Responsibilities, and the Limits of Law, 33 Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence 397 (2020).

Reasonable Self-Doubt, 15 Criminal Law and Philosophy 25 (2021) (with Ofer Malcai). 

The Puzzle of Intra-Familial Commodification, 67 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LAW JOURNAL 68 (2017).

Religious Norms Between Ethics and Law: The Death and Afterlife of Jewish Divorce Law, 4 OXFORD JOURNAL OF LAW AND RELIGION 469 (2015).

Blackmail, Subjectivity and Culpability, 28 CANADIAN JOURNAL OF LAW & JURISPRUDENCE 399 (2015).


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Re'em Segev

Prof. Re'em Segev

Ivan C. Rand Chair in Criminal Law

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LL.B., Summa cum Laude, The Hebrew University

LL.M., Magna cum Laude, The Hebrew University

Ph.D., The Hebrew University


Representative Publications:

General Versus Special Theories of Discrimination, Journal of Moral Philosophy (2021).

Continuity in Morality and Law, Theoretical Inquiries in Law (2021).

Moral Innocence and the Criminal Law: Non-Mala Actions and Non-Culpable Agents, Cambridge Law Journal 79 (2020).

Should Law Track Morality? Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (2017): 205-223.

Responsibility and Justificatory Defenses, Criminal Law & Philosophy 11 (2017): 97-110.

Should We Prevent Deontological Wrongdoing? Philosophical Studies 173 (2016): 2049-2068.

Moral Rightness and the Significance of Law: Why, How and When Mistake of Law Matters, University of Toronto Law Journal 64 (2014): 36-63.

Justification under Uncertainty, Law & Philosophy 31 (2012): 523-563.

Hierarchical Consequentialism, Utilitas 22 (2010): 309-330.

Second-Order Equality and Levelling Down, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2009): 425-443.

Well-Being and Fairness, Philosophical Studies 131 (2006): 369-391.


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