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General Biography

Shimon Shetreet, LLB, LLM, Hebrew University, MCL, DCL holds the Greenblatt Chair of Public and International Law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and is past chairman of the Sacher Institute of Legislative Research and Comparative Law.



Academic roles:

Professor Shimon Shetreet has in recent yearsheld many visiting positions, including, in recent years: Herbert Smith Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge (2008, 2010), Senior Academic Visitor at Clare College (2010), Visting Professor of Law at City University of Hong Kong (February 2013) Visiting Professor at the Center of Jewish Studies University of Potsdam and Abraham Geiger Kolleg, Berlin (spring 2013), Visiting Professor of Law at University of San Diego (fall 2008, 2011), Visiting Distinguished Scholar of Comparative Law at the University of San Diego (fall 2013), Visiting Professor at the Old dominion University (fall 2009, fall 2010), and Visiting Professor and Owens Chair of Middle East Studies at University of Utah (spring 2014).


Also, Professor Shetreet delivered many keynote lectures, such as, in recent years: KK Nambyar Lecture 2009 New Delhi and Chenai ,India, the Human Rights Day Keynote Speaker for the Indian Human Rights Association in New Delhi, December 2010, the 10th Fiat Justizia Lecture, February 2013, at the Monash University Faculty of law, Melbourne, Australia, the Kanter Lecture of Interfaith, Old Dominion University, October 2008.


Public offices:

Professor Shetreet held high public offices. Between 1988 and 1996 he served as Member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. He was a cabinet minister in the Rabin Government and in Peres Cabinet (1992-1996). He served as senior deputy Mayor of Jerusalem (1999-2003). He is the President of the International Association of Judicial Independence and World Peace (, and President of the International Culture of Peace Project.


Other offices:

In addition to his distinguished academic career and his public offices, professor Shetreet also held high business positions, including member of the board of Bank Leumi and Chairman of the Board of Mishaan  He is the chairman of the Israel Internal Auditors Council for Legislation and Certification.


Also, Professor Shetreet is the Chairman of the national Council of Social Development, member of the Board Overseers at Hebrew Union College  in Jerusalem and The Abraham Geiger Rabbinical College in Potsdam, member and founder of Computer for Every Child Project, and Member of the Board of Governors at Holon Technological institute and Jerusalem Engineering College.


Legal Career and Education

Born in 1946 in Morocco, Shetreet came to Israel in 1949. He completed his education in Israel and in the US, earning an LL.B., 1968, and an LL.M., 1970, from the Hebrew University and a Masters' (1971) and a Doctor’s degree (1973) from the University of Chicago School of Law.


Prof. Shimon Shetreet began his legal career as Clerk to Mr. Justice Witkon of the Supreme Court of Israel, 1967. He was admitted to the Israeli Bar Association, 1969. He has appeared before the Supreme Court of Israel in a number of landmark cases; was Member of the Chief Justice Landau Commission on the Israeli Court System, 1980; was a Founder Secretary General of the Public Law Association (1987 - 1992); and a Judge on the Standard Contract Court (1981-88). He is past President of the Israeli Chapter of the International Association of Constitutional Law.



Professor Shetreet published extensively all the years including when he was serving in high public offices. He is author and editor of a number of books, including: Judges on Trial (1976), Judicial Independence: The Contemporary Debate with Chief Justice Jules Deschenes (1985), The Role of Courts in Society (1988), National Security and Free Speech (1991), Pioneers in Tears: Anthology on North African Jewry (1991), Justice in Israel (1994), Women in Law (1998), The Good Land between Power and Religion (1998), Law and Social Pluralism (2002), On Adjudication (2004), Culture of Judicial Independence: Conceptual Foundations and Practical Challenges, with Christopher Forsyth (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2012), Uniform Civil Code: The Challenge of Implementing Uniform Civil Code for India ,with Hiram Chodosh (2013), and Judges on Trial :Independence and Accountability of the English Judiciary,2nd ed. with Sophie Turenne (2013).


He is also the author of numerous publications in legal journals in Israeli and overseas law reviews.


Prof. Shetreet’s book "Judges on Trial: A Study of the Appointment and the Accountability of the English Judiciary" (1976) was relied upon by the House of Lords in the Pinochet Case in January 1999. The same book, and other of Professor Shetreet works as well, have also been relied upon in numerous Highest court cases in other countries, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.


For a full publication list, please see here.


International activity

Professor Shetreet is very active on the international level. He served as General Coordinator for the International Bar Association project for the New Delhi Code of Minimum Standards of Judicial Independence during 1980-1982. He also acted as Speaker, General Rapporteur and Chairman in numerous legal international conferences of leading academic and professional organizations, including, International Bar Association First World Conference on the Independence of Justice and the Congress of Comparative Law and International Association on Procedural Law. 

In the years 2007-2011 he has chaired a major international project of judicial independence.


In recent years Professor Shetreet, together with Prof Christopher Forsyth, was the head of the International Project on Judicial Independence, which held ten international conferences. Professor Shetreet also serves as the

President of RPO - Religion for Peace Organization.


International Jurists Award 2010

Professor Shimon Shetreet was awarded the 2010 International Jurists Award for maintaining the highest standards of legal education. The award ceremony took place on December, 2010 at the International Conference of Jurists in New Delhi, India held at Vijian Bahvan Congress Cemtre, under the distinguished patronage of Indian Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari. Other recipients of the 2010 award included the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Judge, the former President of Seychelles, and the President of the Malaysian Bar Council.



Personal Life

Prof. Shetreet comes from a religious family. He had his elementary studies in Jewish religious school and he also attended a Yeshiva in his youth years. When he was 13 he won the first Bible youth Contest in Israel. He pursued his scholarly interest in Bible studies .He was a permanent member of the Bible Study Group of scholars that was hosted by Prime Minister Menachem Begin for about three years. He delivered papers in this group on Ethics in Government in Biblical and Jewish Law, The Powers of the King to Confiscate Property in Biblical and Jewish Law and Freedom of Conscience in the Bible.


Prof. Shetreet is married to Miri, a social worker, and they have four children.

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