Basic Laws

 

The Basic Laws, first passed by the Knesset in 1992, are considered a mini-bill of rights by Israeli legal scholars. The Basic Laws contain "constitution-like" protections for some civil liberties and human rights, but not explicitly protect the right to equality.

On the contrary, they emphasize the Jewish character of the state, and undermine the rights of "non-Jewish" citizens.

Although several ordinary statutes protect the equal rights of women and people with disabilities, no Basic Law or general statute guarantees the right to equality for the Palestinian minority.

According to Supreme Court Chief Justice Barak, the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty empowers the Supreme Court to overturn Knesset laws which are incompatible with the following enumerated rights: the rights to dignity, life, freedom, privacy, property, and the right to leave and enter the country.

As a Supreme Court panel stated in 1994, "The equality principle is incorporated in the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. This incorporation means that the principle of equality is raised to the level of a high normative constitutional right."

While the right to equality is not expressly included, a 1994 amendment to this Basic Law states that the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence are part of the values protected by the Basic Law. 

Latest Updates
13/09/2012 - News | Press Releases
Adalah and the Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ ) organized a press conference yesterday (invitation), 12 September 2012, on the National Council for...
18/06/2012 - News | Press Releases
(Haifa, Israel) On 12 June 2012, Adalah sent a position paper to the Levy Committee, which was established by the Israeli government to consider how to retroactively legalize unrecognized...
15/03/2012 - News | Press Releases
Adalah submitted an NGO report to the Committee in December 2011 on Israel's lack of compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), in...
12/01/2012 - News | Press Releases
On 11 January 2012, the Israeli Supreme Court in a 6-5 decision, delivered a 232-page judgment upholding the constitutionality of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law – 2003 (as amended...
Publications and multimedia
26/06/2013 - News | Articles, Rima Ayoub
The Criminal Procedures (Detainees Suspected of Security Offenses) Law, originally legislated as a temporary order valid for just 18 month has been extended for nine years (from 2006 and until its...
30/05/2012 - News | Special Reports
Israel's government continues to pass and propose new laws which discriminate against the Palestinian Arab minority. This report is updated regularly to contain a collection of some of the principle...
16/02/2012 - News | Adalah's Review
From the introduction, by Samera Esmeir: It is difficult to devote an issue of a critical journal published by a human rights organization to the theme of “security.” For in such a case, the...
31/07/2008 - News | Articles, Haneen Naamnih
In 2008, the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) considered many new pieces of "anti-Arab" legislation, several of which have been enacted into law. Some of these new laws and proposed bills are...
Legal Cases
There are no pages affiliated with this topic.
International Advocacy
29/11/2007 - Press Releases
Adalah met with 18 representatives from Consular Offices, Representative Offices to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and international development and human rights organizations on 21 November 2007...
31/03/1998 - Press Releases
Adalah Board Chairperson Muhammad Dahleh presented Adalah's report in Geneva to the UN CERD Committee on Israel's implementation of the Convention entitled "Legal Violations of Arab Minority Rights...
UN ECOSOC