Dr. Amichai Cohen

Dr. Amichai Cohen has completed his doctorate at Bar-Ilan University on Bar-Mitzra―The Abutter. He is presently teaching and continuing his research in Hebrew law.

Publications by Dr. Amichai Cohen

Placing Things in Proportion

“Proportionality” has become a common term, widely used by human rights
organizations, politicians, soldiers and laypersons. But its precise legal
meaning is little understood. NGOs allege that a certain attack was
disproportionate because civilians were killed; military officers retort
that the action was proportional because the enemy fired first. From a legal
standpoint, both claims are inaccurate, and based on irrelevant conceptions
of proportionality. The goal of this paper is not to justify or discredit
the use of proportionality, but rather to clarify its parameters, and
identify the problems confronting attempts to apply it, especially in the
context of military operations. The main claim in this paper is the
following: Proportionality cannot be analyzed as a legal term disconnected
from the institutions that apply it. Proportionality may be understood only
in the context of its application by the courts. This paper was presented at
the conference Sixty Years Since the Adoption of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights and Genocide Convention: Evaluating the Record, at Bar Ilan
University on December 10, 2008. Read More »

The Audit in Hebrew Law

A fundamental study of major Judaic adjudication sources concerning public trustees reflects a trend of discomfort along with a demand for transparency and rendering an account by the trustee. This trend does not co-exist with such control and review mechanisms.
However, a scrutiny of various sources reveals a more complex picture:
Many biblical and Talmudic sources reflect the view that transparency is an important requirement for various reasons. Read More »

Proportionality in Modern Asymmetrical Wars

Download the pdf Executive Summary Asymmetrical conflicts are fought between a state following the laws of armed conflicts or international humanitarian law, and organizations that almost never follow these rules and have very little incentive to do so. While the […] Read More »

Proportionality in Modern Asymmetrical Wars

In Israel’s Gaza operation, Israeli commanders successfully followed the requirements of the principle of proportionality. Read More »