Human Rights and their Limitations: The Role of Proportionality

2011 Annual Lecture in Law and Society

In this lecture, Aharon Barak, former President of the Supreme Court of Israel, outlines his theory of proportionality as a means to reaching the appropriate balance between security and the safeguarding of human rights. 

Barak, who is regarded by some legal scholars as the world's greatest living jurist, cites his experience adjudicating cases on family unification, the construction of the separation fence, and authorized torture, to argue for a broad level of judicial discretion, while cautioning against excessive use of executive power during threats to national security.