Mazuz, Meni

views updated


MAZUZ, MENI (1955– ), Israeli attorney general. Mazuz immigrated to Israel with his family shortly after his birth in Tunisia, settling in the town of Netivot. He completed his legal studies magna cum laude at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and did his law clerkship in the High Court of Justice department of the State Attorney's Office (which processes petitions to the Supreme Court in equity matters). In 1981, he received his law license and appeared as an attorney in both civil and criminal matters at the State Attorney's Office. He later became responsible for the High Court of Justice department. In 1992–95 Mazuz served as legal advisor and member of the Israeli delegation in negotiations with the Palestinians and Jordanians and headed the legal team which negotiated the Gaza and interim agreements with the Palestinians. In 1994, he was appointed deputy attorney general. He specialized in military and security matters related to the Israel-Palestine entity relationship, international peace and agreements, the Population Registry, and local council planning and building. Mazuz initiated legislative efforts regarding the Court Law which led to a reform in the Israeli judicial system. He wrote legal commentary on this subject and also played a leading role in legislation amendments to the General Security Law, which deals with the status, authority, and supervision of Israel's intelligence community.

In February 2004, Mazuz was appointed attorney general and undertook an administrative reorganization of the office to achieve a clear separation between the prosecutor and the political system. During his first year in office he reviewed traditional positions of the government in various fields. He emphasized alternate methods of law enforcement and limitations on the connection between elected officials and members of the elective body and adapted an egalitarian approach to single-sex couples in regard to social and property rights.

During his term in office, he initiated substantial reforms in several fields, including appointment and supervision of civil servants, budgetary allocations for political parties, and creation of the state agency responsible for monitoring and supervising the Planning and Construction Law. His decisions on various subjects, including the security fence between Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, emphasized the obligation of the State of Israel to recognize human rights and international principles of law.

[Leon Fine (2nd ed.)]