Author: 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.
Placing Things in Proportion
January 12, 2012 | Dr. Amichai Cohen
"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.
The Audit in Hebrew Law
October 23, 2009 | Dr. Amichai Cohen
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.
Proportionality in Modern Asymmetrical Wars
August 27, 2009 | Dr. Amichai Cohen
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 Geneva Conventions and their protocols were framed in an era of “classic” military engagements, when […]