Richard Posner recently reviewed Aharon Barak’s book, The Judge in a Democracy in The New Republic. Posner criticizes Barak for both his theoretical arguments and for what Posner portrays as Barak’s legacy as the president of Israel’s Supreme Court. Posner accuses Barak of acting as “a legal buccaneer,” and describes his approach as “usurpative.” In the title of his review, Posner fashions Barak as no less than an “Enlightened Despot.” In this response, I claim that Posner’s critique lacks a proper understanding of the legal situation in Israel, misrepresents Barak’s activities as a judge, and fails to contend properly with Barak’s judicial philosophy.
* This excerpt does not include citations. To read the entire article, including supporting notes, please download the PDF.