This article is a synopsis of a monograph which will be published shortly (in Hebrew) by the Harry Sacher Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law. I dedicate it to Professor Tedeschi because he was the one who triggered it ten years ago, with his suggestion that the study of law, and especially the study of contexts of discretion in the law, cannot be complete without detailed studies of the ways in which officers in practice use their powers. Custom thus has an easily overlooked importance as a source of law even in modern systems, in the many areas in which mere knowledge of the normative framework within which powers are exercised is insufficient for a knowledge and understanding of the law.
Tedeschi's suggestion seemed correct on its face, to an extent sufficient to motivate me to leave theorizing about law from the armchair and look into the practice of law enforcement. I emerged from the adventure even more convinced of his insight than when I started.
While working on the subject I realized that comparative analysis was also of relevance to such questions, and that important questions were raised about the utility of such analyses in attempts to solve one's problems. Again I have found that Tedeschi articulated the conclusion I have reached in an early article published years ago.
So these insights of his were added to the many things for which I am indebted to Professor Tedeschi: the solid commitment to legal scholarship for which he has always stood; the varied, persistent and prolific interest he has in all things legal and in the life-problems which the law seeks to regulate, resulting in many essays which are to this day classic in their field; and the fact that he is among the rare scholars who practice what they preach. If we take the importance of custom as an example, Tedeschi insists on including sections on custom in all his articles on legal problems, and in many instances this combination of great analytical strength and attention to social reality is what makes Tedeschi's writings so important. It is rare to have such people as one's teachers, and I feel lucky and grateful to have been his student.
The larger study on which this article is based elaborates in some detail these larger jurisprudential questions of the complex relationships between solutions of legal problems (or law reform) and legal theory, empirical research and comparative analysis. Here I shall confine myself to the major findings of my research into the reality and the ideal of the power of the Attorney-General to stay criminal proceedings.