The Judicial Taxation Revolution: From a Subject and Immigrant Society to a Mature Society

British Tax Review 553 [2012]

27 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2012 Last revised: 15 Apr 2015

See all articles by David Gliksberg

David Gliksberg

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law


Tax discourse is a very significant component in every democratic society. Israel’s tax discourse has gained substantial standing in the public arena over the past two decades in all aspects, including the political, economic, social and cultural dimensions compared to its previous marginal position. The key factor leading to this tax revolution is the judicial activism of the Israeli Supreme Court (ISC) which has strengthened the link between the legal discourse and the tax discourse. Since the legal discourse is of the utmost importance within Israeli society, the tax discourse has been dramatically upgraded. The ISC has changed from being a passive factor to an active and influential key player. The article analyses the various factors which have contributed to this judicial revolution. The essence of the revolution and the various tools utilised to achieve its objectives are analyzed from legal, tax, social and historical perspectives. The revolution reflects the fact that the consciousness of Israeli society has freed itself from its subject and immigrant bonds and has matured, now viewing tax as a necessary part of its societal being. The Judicial revolution has evolved throughout a comprehensive change in the tax law interpretation rules, based on purposivism, coherence and constitutionalism, and has created a dynamic balance regarding basic issues, such as the status of equity and its equilibrium with efficiency which has dramatically affected the Israeli social order.

Keywords: Income tax, Tax law interpretation, Judicial revolution, Tax culture, Judicial activism, Inflation, Purposiveness, Literalism

Suggested Citation

Gliksberg, David, The Judicial Taxation Revolution: From a Subject and Immigrant Society to a Mature Society. British Tax Review 553 [2012]. Available at SSRN:

David Gliksberg (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

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