The Interplay between Tort Law and Religious Family Law: The Israeli Case
23 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 27, 2009
The Article concerns the application of tort law doctrines by Israeli courts to ameliorate suffering caused by the governance of religious law over family matters, in general, and the suffering of Jewish women seeking divorce in particular. It describes the role of religious law in Israeli family law and the methods used by Israeli civil court judges to evade the implications of applying patriarchal and often archaic religious laws; and then describes the particular problems encountered by Jewish women attempting to obtain a divorce under Jewish religious law as well as the difficulties encountered by a civil system coping with this problem and working to formulate a useful solution. The article then moves to survey the development of a novel tortious cause of action in Israeli family (civil) courts for refusal to give a get, a Jewish contract of divorce, which can only be given with the consent of both parties. Finally, the article considers the various dilemmas such a tort claim raises, with a focus on difficulties that arise from examining the issue in light of traditional tort law principles, mainly the rule of negligence.
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