The legal concept of ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) was unknown in Israeli law until 1999 when, in the course of a well-known legal decision (the Kuzli case), the Israeli Supreme Court adopted this common law concept as part of Israeli law. Almost fifteen years have elapsed since the legal precedent set in Kuzli, during which time the criteria for participation as an amicus curiae have been established.
The aim of this study was to empirically explore and analyse the ways in which the procedural institution of amicus curiae has been used and adopted under Israeli law, and the extent to which it has influenced judicial decisions. The study has used empirical methods, including the collection of quantitative data from computerised databases in Israel concerning cases in which an application to be recognised as an amicus curiae was made.
The main findings indicate that, over the last decade, the number of applications for recognition as an amicus curiae has grown steadily. Most of these applications were made by non-governmental organisations in attempting to support private individuals engaged in legal proceedings against the state or for-profit corporations. The findings reveal that the courts have approved most of these applications.