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The chapter revisits some of the main contributions by Meir Shamgar, who served between 1961 and 1995 as Israel’s Military Advocate General, Attorney General, Judge and President of the Supreme Court, to the development of Israeli jurisprudence relating to the interpretation and application of international law in general, and the law of belligerent occupation in particular. Arguably, the legal structures constructed by Shamgar proved to be resilient because they were based on his deep understanding of international law and commitment to basic legal values. Among the topics discussed are Shamgar’s contribution to subjecting Israel’s activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to rule of law concepts, his nuanced position on the application of the Fourth Geneva Convention, his support for a flexible interpretation of the law of belligerent occupation and the balancing he performed between Israeli security interests and the needs and interests of the Palestinian inhabitants. While this chapter focuses on the work of one exceptional Israeli jurist, it offers broader insights about Israel’s approach to international law and the law applicable to the occupied territories, and about the relationship between international law as a constraint upon political power and as a cloak for the exercise of such power.
This collection of essays is written by some of the world's leading experts in international human rights law, and corresponds to the main junctures in the professional life of Professor David Kretzmer, a leading human right academic and practitioner. The different essays focus on contemporary human rights protection challenges. They address conceptual problems such as differences between limits and restrictions, and application of human rights standards to businesses and international organisations; legal doctrinal responses to changing realities in the field of surveillance and identity politics; the weakness of monitoring institutions engaged in standard setting; and the practical difficulties in applying international human rights law to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a manner sensitive to gender dimensions and the particular political dynamics of the situation. Collectively, the essays offer a rich picture of the current potential shortcomings of international human rights law in addressing complex problems of law, politics and ethics.