Levine examines the roles of legislative and judicial bodies, in the context of a discussion of broader principles of legislation in the Jewish legal system. In recent years, American legal scholars have increasingly looked to Jewish law as a model of an alternative legal system that considers many of the issues present in the American legal system. In relation to the roles of legislative and judicial bodies, the Jewish legal system provides a particularly illuminating contrast to the American legal system, in part because in Jewish law, the same authority, the Sanhedrin, or High Court, serves in both a legislative and judicial capacity. Interestingly, though, as a result of the express license for the same authority in Jewish law to serve two separate functions, the two functions are rather clearly delineated, each bounded by specific rules and regulations. Thus, an analysis of the legislative function of the Sanhedrin may shed light on an analysis of the proper legislative function of American courts. A secondary aim of this Article is to illustrate some of the conceptual foundations and functionings of the Jewish legal system evident in the various substantive areas of legislation examined, relying in part on the work of contemporary scholars of Jewish law, again in the hope that the analysis might illuminate conceptual areas of American legal thought. Levine concludes with the hope that this project, building on the increased interest in Jewish law among American legal scholars, will further demonstrate the relevance of Jewish law to the study of American law.
29 Seton Hall L. Rev. 916 (1998-1999)
29 Seton Hall L. Rev. 916