Courses in the field of Law and History
The Law Faculty offers a variety of courses for students interested in both law and history. The courses are structured on a number of stages. Students interested in progressing in an orderly and comprehensive fashion are therefore advised to take courses in different areas, preferably in the order presented below.
a) Meta-legal courses: “Law and History” is a good introduction to Israeli legal history. It also provides an initial view of historical research by presenting historiographical and methodological debates among scholars from various disciplinary approaches. “Legal Methods” is an introduction to the history of the major Western legal methods – Continental and Anglo-American.
b) Electives: These courses focus on narrower aspects of legal history and enable delving into them further. The courses generally devote more time to historiographical debates, methodological and theoretical issues, and to analysis of primary historical sources. A changing selection of such courses is offered each year by members of the faculty. The more advanced of these are designated courses of the Zvi Meitar Center for Advanced Legal Studies. In addition, one or two focused courses are taught each year, usually in English, by leading legal historians from abroad.
c) The Yigal Arnon Legal History Workshop: At this workshop, offered annually, leading legal historians from Israel and abroad present their work. Most of the articles discussed are works in progress. Participants are asked to prepare a short critique of the article to be discussed. At the meeting, a critical discussion is held with the participation of the author, the workshop organizers, other faculty members, and students. The purpose of the workshop is to develop students’ ability to read legal history articles critically, and to present the various contemporary research topics and approaches in the field. The workshop is suitable for 2nd year undergraduates and for graduate students.
d) Research seminars: Each year, a small and changing selection of seminars (usually yearlong) is offered. The purpose of the seminar is to experience historical research on a small scale. This is a good opportunity for undergraduate students both to gain experience and to determine to what extent the field is of interest to them for further studies. For graduate students, the seminar is an opportunity to examine the research potential of a topic, as well as a framework for working on part of their thesis.
e) Courses from other Faculties: Courses from other Faculties are occasionally offered, mainly relevant courses in the departments of History, Jewish History, Middle Eastern and African History and Hebrew Culture, in the Faculty of Humanities. Students are permitted to take these courses in accordance with the student regulations and through the student office. Students are advised to check the course offering in these departments.