“The strength of society in withstanding its enemies is based on its recognition that it is fighting for values that are worth defending. The rule of law is one of those values.”
President of the Israel High Court of Justice Aharon Barak, HCJ 168/91 Marcus v. The Minister of Defense – 1991.
Law and security do not exclude, rather complement one another, and neither can stand alone in a functioning democratic society. Thus, a complete examination of matters of national security cannot ignore the relevant legal aspects involved.
In an era when the legal system is increasingly involved in national security decision making, and in an age where state actions on the international plane are examined also in light of legal considerations, it is incumbent to understand the relevant legal aspects of security decisions. Moreover, a state that sees itself as a member of the international community must consider the law when confronting security issues in order to fully avail itself of the advantages that can be achieved when taking measures in the defense of national security interests.
The goal of the Law and National Security Program is to deal with a variety of legal topics relating to national security, including, but not limited to, aspects relating to the use of force, the laws of armed conflict, the implementation of security measures, the issue of cyber security, the law of the sea, and so forth. Furthermore, legal aspects regarding policy decisions, including those surrounding peace negotiations and other national policies, whether at the domestic or international level, will also be covered. Emphasis will be given to research and analysis of the legal dimensions of current events in the national security policy arena.
Within the framework of the program, research will be conducted on various topics, insights will be drawn, articles will be published, and conferences and expert consultations will be held with leading Israeli and international legal scholars. In addition, the joint research project between the Institute for National Security Studies and the Buchmann Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, with the support of the Philadelphia-based Joseph and Jeanette Neubauer Foundation, will be concluded. The study examines the various legal aspects involved with asymmetric, cross-border warfare, with particular regard to how the principles of distinction and proportionality are applied under such circumstances. The project was conducted by Eliav Lieblich together with Owen Alterman, under the joint guidance of Professor Eyal Benvenisti and Dr. Yehuda Ben Meir.
Strategic Survey for Israel 2020-2021
INSS Insight No. 1399, November 5, 2020
Special Publication, September 2, 2020
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