The Recent Knesset Debacle: A Guide for the Perplexed with Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer

The Recent Knesset Debacle: A Guide for the Perplexed with Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, The Jerusalem Press Club hosted Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Vice President of Research at the Israel Democracy Institute and former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University, who shared with a group of foreign journalists his opinions about recent events in the Knesset, when the opposition members – en bloc – walked out of the hall, in response to what was perceived by them as a tyranny of the majority.

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Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer is Vice President of Research at IDI, where he has been a Senior Fellow since 1994 and currently heads the following projects: Democratic Principles, National Security and Democracy, Arab-Jewish Relations, and Proportionality in Public Policy. He is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law and was Dean of the Faculty in 1990–1993.

Born in Fürth, Germany, Prof. Kremnitzer studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, from which he received his PhD in 1980. During 1970–1977 he served in the Israel Defense Forces, inter alia as Deputy Chief Prosecutor and as a military judge.

Prof. Kremnitzer has advised the governments of Canada, Hungary, Finland, and Thailand on reform in criminal and public law. He has been a visiting Professor at Tulane University in the US, the Central European University in Budapest, McGill University in Montreal, and Zurich University in Switzerland. In addition, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany and conducted research at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin.

Prof. Kremnitzer has served as chairman of many public committees, including a committee on the use of force by the police that was established by the Police Minister (1994); a committee on Education Towards Good Citizenship that was appointed by the Education Minister (1996); a committee appointed by the Finance Minister and the Justice Minister to examine methods to deal with offences and misconduct of public employees (1998); and a committee to reform the Homicide Law (2011). He is also a member of the scientific advisory board of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany.

Prof. Kremnitzer served as chairperson of the Israeli Association of Public Law (2002–2004), as President of the Israeli Press Council (2000–2003), and as the academic head of the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University (2001–2003). In November 2012, he was elected to the board of Governors of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) of the United Nations.

Prof. Kremnitzer has published extensively in the fields of criminal, military, and public law. His books deal with judicial activism; the offence of sedition, libel, official secrets, revocation of citizenship, disqualification of parties and lists, targeted killings, offences against the state, the offence of breach of trust, administrative detention, and Israel’s Basic Law: The Army. He also co-authored a proposal for a new general part of Israel’s penal code, which has been adopted by the Knesset.

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