Out of Control Policy Blog

Sasha Volokh on Philosophical Objections to Prison Privatization in Israel

Sasha Volokh has an interesting new article on Reason.org discussing a 2009 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court striking down a law authorizing the use of private prisons. As Volokh explains in the intro:

This opinion is interesting for Americans for a number of reasons. First, it held private prisons unconstitutional based on the most general of constitutional provisions, the rights to “liberty” and “dignity,” and based on very high-level political theory—rather than predictions about how the different sectors might violate inmates’ rights, which one would expect in the U.S. constitutional tradition. Second, the decision is part of an emerging series of recent rulings by foreign courts on private delegations of coercive power [...]. Third, the Israeli Supreme Court enjoys substantial respect in comparative constitutional law circles worldwide, so there’s a possibility that similar reasoning will spread to other countries.

Read the rest of the article here, where Volokh goes on to explore several weaknesses in the Court's arguments. And for more, all of Volokh's recent legal analyses written for Reason Foundation on an array of privatization-related topics are archived here.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform


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