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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