Supreme Court Decision-Making: An Empirical and Comparative Perspective from Israel

Keren Weinshall Margel

Hebrew University, Law Faculty; Israeli Courts Research Division, Supreme Court; Harvard Law School

June 29, 2010

This study examines decision-making in Israel’s Supreme Court regarding freedom of religion, while implementing models of decision-making that were researched in other high courts, mainly the US Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada. Two theoretical models were studied: the attitudinal model, according to which justices decide disputes consistent with their ideological positions; and the neo-institutional approach, according to which the roles and norms of the court as an institution affect the justices’ decisions. Conclusions indicate that justices' attitudes in Israel have a very strong influence on their votes on the merit. At the same time, the neo-institutional claim that the law does matter is also supported by the findings. The results of the study, as compared to former studies conducted in other countries, can help to better understand the influence of institutional arrangements on decision-making in high courts.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

Keywords: Supreme Court Decision Making, Comparative Law

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Date posted: July 1, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Weinshall Margel, Keren, Supreme Court Decision-Making: An Empirical and Comparative Perspective from Israel (June 29, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1632646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1632646

Contact Information

Keren Weinshall Margel (Contact Author)
Hebrew University, Law Faculty ( email )
Israeli Courts Research Division, Supreme Court ( email )
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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