Hired Guns and Ministers of Justice: The Role of Government Attorneys in the US and Israel

20 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2015 Last revised: 13 Jun 2016

See all articles by Michael Asimow

Michael Asimow

SANTA CLARA LAW SCHOOL ; Santa Clara University - School of Law

Yoav Dotan

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 10, 2015

Abstract

What is the role of a government attorney who represents a government agency on judicial review? Most academic literature in US advocates the “hired gun” model in which the role of the government lawyer is no different from a lawyer representing a private client (although some academics and government lawyers disagree). The prevailing view in Israel is that government lawyers are “ministers of justice” owing a primary obligation to the public interest rather than to the client agency. This difference is attributable both to fundamental differences between the legal culture of the US and Israel as well as to certain unique features of the Israeli system of judicial review.

Keywords: government attorney, government agency, judicial review, hired gun, Israel, United States, ministers of justice, judicial review

JEL Classification: K33, K40, K44

Suggested Citation

Asimow, Michael R. and Dotan, Yoav, Hired Guns and Ministers of Justice: The Role of Government Attorneys in the US and Israel (August 10, 2015). 19 Israel Law Review, 1 2016, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Legal Research Paper No. 16-02, Stanford Public Law Working Paper No. 2643993, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2643993

Michael R. Asimow (Contact Author)

SANTA CLARA LAW SCHOOL ( email )

1275 Trinity Drive
Menlo Park, CA California 94025
United States
650-575-4858 (Phone)
94025 (Fax)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

Yoav Dotan

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Scopus
Mount Scopus, IL 91905
Israel
972548820462 (Phone)

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