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The Purse and the SwordThe Trials of Israel's Legal Revolution$
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Daniel Friedmann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190278502

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190278502.001.0001

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The Attorney General Reigns Supreme

The Attorney General Reigns Supreme

(p.237) 26 The Attorney General Reigns Supreme
The Purse and the Sword

Daniel Friedmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the Supreme Court has elevated the position of the attorney general from the government’s counsel to its commander in chief by holding that his opinions are binding on the whole executive branch, including the government. The attorney general’s functions are to serve as the government’s legal counsel. Yet, as the chapter shows, the court has time and again tried to raise the attorney general to the position of Israel’s utmost authority, with only the Supreme Court above him. In addition, the attorney general’s power to issue orders to the elected government was augmented by another aspect of his power-his position at the head of the state prosecution. And while the attorney general does not hold formal powers in the area of legislation, his prosecutorial powers can create a de facto situation that makes it difficult to enact a law that he opposes.

Keywords:   attorney general, legal counsel, government court representation, state prosecution, Israeli legislation, attorney general’s directives, Israeli Supreme Court

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