In March 1992, Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, enacted Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. Some believe that this Basic Law has created a constitutional revolution in Israel, while others feel this view to be exaggerated. In any event, there is general agreement that the Basic Law, with its 13 brief sections, has effected many significant changes in numerous areas of law.
It is well known that criminal procedure and some parts of the law of evidence are particularly sensitive to constitutional changes. To what extent is this also true in Israel as a consequence of the Basic Law and interpretations given to it?
More particularly, what precisely does the Basic Law say, and what has the Supreme Court inferred from the principles of human dignity and liberty beyond the express provisions of the Basic Law? What influence does the Basic Law exert on new legislation and indeed on legislation preceding the enactment of the Basic Law itself? May one expect that the Supreme Court will adopt the idea that the Basic Law embodies an exclusionary rule of evidence obtained in breach of a constitutional right? These, and other relevant questions, will be discussed below. First, however, we shall refer briefly to the legal and social background of the Basic Law.