Conflict Resolution and Judicial Decision Making

Dr. Udi Sommer

Professor, Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University (2 credits)

By their nature, courts are institutions where conflict resolution constantly happens. This course will delve into the intricacies of judicial decision making and examine several historical cases where courts resolved conflicts. We will examine the motivations of justices, their constraints, the influences that constitutional principles have on their rulings and the power of the public and politics writ large on judicial decisions. For instance, key conflicts in certain countries revolve around the separation of state and religion. In many of those countries, it is courts that are tasked with resolving this conflict. We will look at a few examples from different parts of the world for this conflict, as well as many other conflicts where courts played a pivotal role in their resolution. 


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