The Impact of the Advisory Opinion on Israel's Future Policy: International Relations Perspective

Hebrew University International Law Research Paper No. 05-06

Journal of International Law & International Relations, Vol. 1, pp. 319-344, 2005

30 Pages Posted: 17 May 2006

See all articles by Moshe Hirsch

Moshe Hirsch

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory attracted widespread interest in the international community and in Israel. The Opinion includes judicial statements regarding controversial questions that lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, such as the legal status of the West Bank and the Palestinians' right of self-determination. Following a brief survey of the central legal rules arising from the Court's Opinion, the article examines the expected impacts of the Opinion on Israel's future policy regarding the separation barrier's route and the West Bank.

The challenging question posed to scholars of international law and international relations is to what extent Israel will (or will not) comply with the judicial statements included in the Advisory Opinion. This article addresses some of the central factors that affect the prospects of compliance. To answer this vital question of compliance, the article employs three major theories of international relations: the realist, liberal, and constructivist approaches. As elaborated below, each of these theoretical perspectives offers a different conception of international law, and a different set of variables for analyzing the prospects of breach or compliance with international rules. This article suggests that a multifaceted investigation may meaningfully clarify the factors involved in the complex question regarding Israel's future compliance with the Advisory Opinion.

The combined results of these analyses indicate that the prospects of compliance with the judicial statements included in the Advisory Opinion are modest for the short range and more significant over the medium and long terms. As for the latter ranges, the two major actors that are likely to enhance the influence of the ICJ's judicial statements in the Israeli legal system are Israel's Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

Keywords: International Law, Compliance, Theories of international relations

Suggested Citation

Hirsch, Moshe, The Impact of the Advisory Opinion on Israel's Future Policy: International Relations Perspective. Hebrew University International Law Research Paper No. 05-06, Journal of International Law & International Relations, Vol. 1, pp. 319-344, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=902940

Moshe Hirsch (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law ( email )

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