Rights in Criminal Proceedings: Ensuring Principle of Equality in Justice Ministry’s Proposed Basic Law

>> Click here to read the full position paper

This position paper was submitted to the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee ahead of a discussion on the proposed Basic Law: Rights in Criminal Proceedings. The proposal (submitted by the Justice Ministry) passed its first reading on 3 March 2022. Subsequently, a series of discussions was set to prepare the proposal for second and third readings. Zulat’s representatives attended the first discussion on 10 May 2022.

Zulat’s position paper was compiled by a steering committee composed of Dr. Rawia Aburabia, Prof. Aeyal Gross, Prof. Naomi Hazan, Prof. Frances Raday, and Dr. Adam Shinar, while the suggested amendments to the law were drafted by Attorney Eitay Mack.

We propose a number of amendments to the law in order to strengthen and anchor the right to equality, based on the concept that enshrining this right in all relevant laws, especially in a Basic Law, is essential to the viability of a democratic regime in Israel. The right to equality is recognized as “first among equals” and a key right, without which all other human rights have no meaning or raison d’etre. The right to equality is particularly important in criminal proceedings due to the fact that the balance of power between the state and the defendant is inherently skewed.


Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.