Eighteenth Geoffrey Sawer Lecture - History and memory in constitutional adjudication

Date & time
6–7.30pm Wednesday 5 August 2015

Finkel Theatre, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Building 131, Garran Road, The Australian National University

Justice Daphne Barak Erez, Supreme Court of Israel


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Part of the Annual Geoffrey Sawer Lecture series

Daphne Barak Erez

Court rulings given in the past serve as primary sources for the writing of history. At the same time, occasionally, judicial decisions themselves consist of history writing. This history writing should be of interest. Indeed, judges are not expert historians. However, their decisions have normative consequences, and sometimes even an impact on the process of shaping collective memory. The lecture will discuss  different kinds of history writing in judicial decisions and elaborate on their different roles and implications. More concretely, it will discuss the role of the narration of history in constitutional judicial decisions as "history of justification", that is history that establishes justification for normative choices made by the court.

Justice Daphne Barak-Erez was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel in 2012. Before that, she was a professor of law at Tel Aviv University for many years, where she the Stewart and Judy Colton Chair and served as the Dean of the Law School. She is a member of the American Law Institute and of the International Academy of Comparative Law. During her career she has been a visiting professor and researcher at various universities, including Stanford, Coumbia, Duke and Toronto. She has been awarded several prizes, including the Rector’s Prize for Excellence in Teaching (three times), the Zeltner Prize, the Heshin Prize, the Woman of the City Award (by the City of Tel-Aviv) and the Women in Law Award (by the Israeli Bar). She is the author and editor of eighteen books and more than 120 articles in Israel, England, Canada and the United States.

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