Unamendability in Israel: A Critical Perspective

  • Mazen MasriEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 68)


This chapter explores unamendability in Israel. Even though Israel has no full or formal constitution, and no specific amendment rules, two forms of unamdenability could be identified. The first form is concealed unamendability, which prevents certain kinds of amendments through controlling the composition of the Knesset (the legislature which also has the power to enact and amend constitutional Basic Laws). The second is judicially-introduced unwritten unamendability. Unamendability in both cases aims to protect Israel’s definition as a Jewish and democratic state. The chapter will examine both forms of unamendability and the functions they serve, highlighting the expressive and the preservative functions. It will also examine the implications of unamendability for constitutionalism in Israel emphasizing the impact of entrenching particular values such as the Jewish definition and its contribution to creating a hierarchy among the citizenry and the entrenchment of favourable status for certain groups.



I would like to thank the participants of the ‘Workshop on Unamendable Constitutional Provisions’ for their comments and feedback. Special thanks to Richard Albert and Bertil Emrah Oder for organizing the workshop, to Esra Ozcan and Zeynep Kocer for helping host the workshop, and to Yaniv Roznai for thorough and very helpful comments.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The City Law SchoolCity, University of LondonLondonUK

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