Administrative law in Israel is at the crossroads. Historically, Israeli administrative law was born from English administrative law and like its English counterpart was developed against the background of two significant factors: the relative dearth of constitutional law concerning the protection of human rights on the one hand, and the power of the central government on the other. These two factors had traditionally contributed to the centrality of administrative law that underwent a radical change. First, constitutional law is now an independent source for the recognition and enforcement of human rights following the enactment of new basic laws on human rights—Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation and Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. Second, privatization has changed completely the scope and pattern of activities conducted by administrative agencies in both countries.
This Article discusses the developments in Israeli administrative law as a result of these changes. In this context, it also evaluates the potential recourse to American administrative law, which has grown in the context of a well developed constitutional law and a relatively low level of government activity in the economic sphere.
The Article argues that the main focus of administrative law—in contrast to constitutional law—should be on the protection of interests (that are not considered human rights), on distributive justice, on procedural justice (in the context of bureaucratic decision-making) and on a broader scope of review (not limited to the protection of human rights), with a special emphasis on the executive branch. In the context of adapting to privatization, it also argues that administrative law should strengthen its focus on the challenge of regulation, on the protection of social rights and on the duties of “mixed” bodies, which are, in many cases, the product of privatization.