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The Purse and the SwordThe Trials of Israel's Legal Revolution$
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Daniel Friedmann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278502

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278502.001.0001

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The Role of Criminal Law

The Role of Criminal Law

Chapter:
(p.213) 24 The Role of Criminal Law
Source:
The Purse and the Sword
Author(s):

Daniel Friedmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278502.003.0024

This chapter chronicles an unprecedented wave of criminal investigations and trials of central political figures, which occurred after Aharon Barak was appointed chief justice and Benjamin Netanyahu elected prime minister. Every prime minister who has served from 1996 to the present—Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert—has come under criminal investigation, in some cases multiple times. On top of that, there has been a long list of criminal investigations of cabinet ministers and other public officials. At times there was justifiable cause for an investigation, but in many cases the impression has been that the suspicions were baseless or trivial, involving the kinds of deeds that hardly called for a criminal investigation and certainly not for criminal punishment. As such, most of these cases demonstrated prosecutorial overreach and raised the question of why and how could this have happened. The chapter also points out that in numerous cases the investigations and prosecutions were directed against personalities considered inimical to the legal revolution.

Keywords:   criminal investigations, trials of political figures, criminal punishment, prosecutorial overreach, criminal law

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