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Towards an Israeli doctrine and legislative-regulative framework dealing with emergencies

Prof. Shlomo Mizrahi (Public Policy, University of Haifa), Prof. Eli Salzberger  and Dr. Robert Neufeld (Law, University of Haifa)

During its short history Israel had gone through numerous emergencies, most of which were related to national security incidents. It is surprising, therefore, that Israel lacks a solid doctrine and comprehensive legislative and regulative framework dealing with preparation towards emergencies, handling and mitigating such emergencies and recovering from them. Furthermore, the legislation that does exist on the law-books is far from reflecting reality, creating a dangerous gap between the law in the books and law in action (e.g. The Home front Command which is currently the main body to deal with emergency is not mentioned in any legislation and the veteran Civil Defense Law 1951 does not reflect the actual decision-making and institutional structure addressing emergencies).
This research is meant to fill these lack and gap by:

  1. A comparative study of the emergency doctrines and legislative frameworks in other countries, among which are Japan, Canada, the Philippines and the UK – countries with different features regarding both the type of threats, as well as governmental structures (e.g. federation or a unitary country) and legal cultures (e.g. common law vs. civil law). We aim to analyze the different arrangements relating to various variables such as 1) whether the law relates to all stages of emergency – preparation and mitigation, management and recovery, 2) centralized vs. de-centralized emergency regime, 3) institutions and command structures during normality (preparation stage) and during emergency, 4) powers and authorities vis-à-vis the government, administration, local authorities, public entities, private entities and individuals, during normality and emergency, 5) enforcement mechanisms, judicial review and checks and balances during normality and emergency.
  2. Analyzing the Israeli current emergency management system and proposal of required reforms, which will involve also interviews with past and present key office holders in the emergency realm. We will use the methodology of policy research including the following steps: 1) identifying the main problems; 2) setting the main goals and specific targets; 3) identifying various alternatives regarding the regulatory and command structure that may minimize the problems; 4) evaluating these alternatives, prioritize them and produce recommendations. In doing so, we will integrate normative and positivistic approaches, namely we will apply both value-oriented evaluation and interest-based evaluation and integrate between the two.
  3. Producing a policy paper based on the findings from the comparative research and from the analysis of Israel.
  4. Translating the policy paper into a proposed legislative and regulative framework

See more (in Hebrew) here 

See Publication:
Salzberger, Eli. Israel’s Emergency Doctrine, Institutions and Legal Framework, or lack of.  in: Adam, K-M und Kropf, G. J. (Hrzg.). (in Berabeitung). Führung in Zeiten der Krise – Katastrophenvorsorge und zivile Krisenbewältigung: deutsch-israelische Erfahrungen, Einsichten und Praktiken, (2022) Nomos Verlag (publication on German. English version is available here)