Alon Harel is Mizock Professor of Law and a member of Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality. Professor Harel works in several fields: moral and political philosophy, criminal law theory, constitutional law theory and also law and economics and behavioral law and economics.
His book Why Law Matters (OUP, 2014) challenges the view that law is merely an instrument designed to render the right or correct in decisions. It maintains that often legal institutions and legal procedures matter as such. For instance, it is argued in chapter 3 of this book that there are certain decisions, eg, the infliction of punishment for crimes that must be made by public rather than private institutions. It also defends the intrinsic value of constitutional directives and of judicial review.
More recently, Professor Harel has investigated in a series of papers the vices of privatization. In his edited book Companion on Privatization (CUP, 2021), Professor Harel discusses critically the different justifications provided for privatization and, in particular, stresses the distinct role of the state as an institution which represents citizens and acts on their behalf.
Professor Harel works currently on a book on the authority of the state where he argues that ultimately the state’s authority is grounded in its ability to speak in the name of all. This explains why political authority is necessarily public; it represents those who are subject to it and, consequently, those who are subject to it are, in principle, accountable for the authority’ decisions.
LL.B., Hebrew University, (1983) (with distinction).
LL.M., Hebrew University (1985) (with distinction).
D. Phil. (Philosophy of Law) (1988) (Balliol College, Oxford).
1. Alon Harel, Why Law Matters (Oxford University Press, 2014).
a. The Washington Post, Book Review: ‘Why Law Matters’ by Alon Harel, By Will Baude November 6, 2014.
b. Book Review: Why Law Matters By Alon Harel, Mark Coombes.
c. Book Review Debate: Zucca and Harel 15 International Journal of Constitutional Law 301-318 (2015)
d. Arie Rosen, Book Review 34 Law and Philosophy 699-708 (2015)
e. Barbara Levenbook, Book Review Notre Dame Philosophical Review 6/10/2015
f. Rutgers Symposium on WHY LAW MATTERS Comments by Malcolm Thorburn, Ekow Yankaw, Leo Zaibert, Guyora Binder, Kyron Huigens with a response by Alon Harel 2 Critical Analysis of Law (2015)
g. Michel Paradis Dignity Under Law New Rambler Review16/12/2015
h. Yossi Nehushtan, The Case for Modest Constitutional Instrumentalism 30 Constitutional Commentary 639-666 (215)
i. Jacob Weinrib, Book Review: Why Law Matters 29 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 267-270 (2016).
j. Leonard Kahn, Book Review 126 Ethics 831-836 (2016).
2. Alon Harel, Against Privatization as Such (forthcoming in Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 2016) (with Avihay Dorfman).
3. Alon Harel, The Duty to Criminalize 34 Law and Philosophy 1-22 (2015).
4. Alon Harel, Necessity Knows No Law (forthcomingToronto University L.J., 2011) (with Assaf Sharon).
5. Alon Harel, Commensurability and Agency: Yet Two Unmet Challenges to Law and Economics 96 Cornell L. Rev. 749-788 (2011) (with Ariel Porat).
6. Alon Harel, The Easy Core Case for Judicial Review 2Journal of Legal Analysis 227-256 (with Tsvi Kahana).
7. Alon Harel, Criminal Responsibility for Unspecified Offences 94 Minnesota L. Rev. 261-310 (2009) (with Ariel Porat)
8. Alon Harel, Uncertainty Revisited: Legal Prediction and Legal Postdiction 107 Michigan L. Rev. 467-499 (2008) (with Ehud Guttel).
9. Alon Harel, Why Only the State May Inflict Criminal Sanctions: The Case Against Privately Inflicted Sanctions14 Legal Theory 113-133 (2008).
10. Alon Harel, The Economics of Stigma: Why More Detection of Crime May Result in Less Stigmatization 36Journal of Legal Studies 355-377 (2007) (with Alon Klement).
11. Alon Harel, The Right to Judicial Review 92 Virginia L. Rev. 991-1022 (2006) (with Yuval Eylon).
12. Alon Harel, Matching Probabilities: The Behavioral Law & Economics of Repeated Behavior 72 University of Chicago L. Rev., 1197-2005 (2005) (with Ehud Guttel).
13. Alon Harel, Theories of Rights in Blackwell’s Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory,191-206(eds. Martin P. Golding & William Edmundson, 2005).
14. Alon Harel, The Virtues of Uncertainty in Law: An Experimental Approach 89 Iowa L. Rev. 443-494 (2004) (with Tom Baker and Tamar Kugler).
15. Alon Harel, Theories of Rights in Blackwell’s Guide to the Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory,191-206(eds. Martin P. Golding & William Edmundson, 2005).
16. Alon Harel, The Virtues of Uncertainty in Law: An Experimental Approach 89 Iowa L. Rev. 443-494 (2004) (with Tom Baker and Tamar Kugler).