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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Outlining the difficulties in balancing security concerns with the need to guarantee individual rights in Israeli law, Supreme Court Justice Ayala Procaccia told a Harvard Law School audience this week that "there is constant tension between individual human rights and social goals."
While emphasizing the need for upholding human rights under the law, Procaccia did not downplay security concerns.
"Principals of ethics, justice and morality cannot endure in a society that does not assign proper weight to the crucial needs of its existence," she said. "However the law plays a part in ensuring that the fighting of terrorism will be within the law."
She explained that the court continues to allow petitioners to file "Friend of the Court" briefs even though these parties may not have a vested interest in the outcome of the case. Procaccia explained that this gave human rights groups a standing to petition the court for individuals who did not have the means to do so themselves. The case itself, she said, should be judged rather than the identity of the plaintiff.
The appearance at Harvard was one of several Procaccia made in the Boston area this week. She also appeared at Boston University and Brandeis University in a visit organized by Israel's New England consulate to explain to the Boston community about Israel's thriving democracy and strong record on human rights, according to Bonnie Rose-Shulman of the consulate.
In her talk at Harvard, Procaccia also stressed the Israeli courts' "deep commitment...to protect the rights of the individual."