The Jewish Legal Heritage Society

The Rule of Law in the Jewish Sources


Part One


Law and the Noahides

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Sources of the Noahide Laws

Chapter 3 Noahide Law as Natural Law and Equity

Chapter 4 The Law of the State is the Law

Chapter 5 The Content of law

a. Identity with Jewish Law

b. Explicit Differences

Chapter 6 Jurisdiction Over Jews

Chapter 7 Jurisdiction Over Non-Jews

Chapter 8 Non-Jewish Litigants in Jewish Courts

Chapter 9 Conclusion

Part Two


The Law of the State is the Law

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 The Law of the State is the Law

Chapter 3 The Law of the State and the Law of the King

Chapter 4 Form of Authority

Chapter 5 Recognized Authority

Chapter 6 Deviation from Government Authority

Chapter 7 Discrimination

Chapter 8 Group Penalties

Chapter 9 Religion and Independence of Jewish Law

Chapter 10 Conclusion

Part Three


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Status of Communal Leader

Chapter 3 Service but not Domination

Equality Under the Law

Setting and Example

The Rule of Law

Duty to Attend Meetings


Chapter 4 Confidentiality

Chapter 5 Answerability

Chapter 6 Blamelessness

Chapter 7 Conflict of Interest

Chapter 8 Disrepute (A Basket of Reptiles)

Chapter 9 Public Servants as Judges

Chapter 10 Conclusion

Appendix Law Concerning Employment by Members of the Knesset

Part Four


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Non-Compliance with Summons to Court

a. Use of non-Jewish courts

b. Denial of right to sue

Chapter 3 Violence Towards Judge

a. Fearlessness

b. Change of Venue

Chapter 4 Violence Towards Witnesses

a. Shifting of burden of proof

b. Swearing witnesses

c. Taking evidence in the absence of the violent party

d. Evidence of quarrel

Chapter 5 Conclusion

Part Five


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 The Prescribed Law

a. Testimony by a criminal

b. Testimony against accomplice

c. Testimony of state witness

Chapter 3 Emergency Exceptions in Penal Evidence

a. The rule: judgment not on conjectures

b. Over-zealousness may lead to increased crime

c. Authority of the court

d. Authority of Public Leaders

      1. The King

      2. Government of Israel

      3. Precedents from communal history

e. Formal and substantive disqualification of witnesses

Chapter 4 Immunity of Witnesses

Chapter 5 Conclusion

Part Six


Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 The Oath of Testimony

Chapter 3 Warning of Witnesses

a. Contents of warning

b. Occasion for warning

c. Purpose of warning

d. Testimony given without warning

Chapter 4 Oath for Truthful Testimony

a. Need for oath renders testimony worthless

b. Swearing of witness may lead to false oath

Chapter 5 Ban as Alternative to Swearing

a. Advantages

      1. Avoiding divine punishment for false oath

      2. Impact of ban greater than oath

      3. Restrictions relating to swearing avoided

b. Bases for ban during Geonic period and its subsequent crystallization

Chapter 6 The Custom of Swearing Witnesses in Criminal Cases

Chapter 7 The Custom of Swearing Witnesses to Tell the Truth

Chapter 8 Disqualification of Testimony not Given Under Oath

Chapter 9 Oath to Fulfill Commandment

Chapter 10 Avoiding Oath

Chapter 11 Conclusion

Appendix Abolition of Swearing Witnesses in Israel