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Rubinstein, Amnon


RUBINSTEIN, AMNON (1931– ), constitutional law professor and politician, member of the Ninth to Fifteenth Knessets. Rubinstein was born in Tel Aviv. He served as an officer in the artillery corps. He received a bachelor's degree in economics and international relations (1955) and in 1963 a master's degree in law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received his doctorate in law from the University of London in 1966. Rubinstein was a member of the Haaretz editorial board, and in 1969–75 taught law at Tel Aviv University, serving as dean of the law faculty (1969–74).

After the Yom Kippur War, in 1974 he established a protest movement called Shinui ("Change"), and two years later joined the Democratic Movement for Change with other members of his movement. He was elected to the Ninth Knesset on the dmc list but in 1978 broke away from it due to his opposition to the role that the dmc was playing in the Begin government, and formed a parliamentary group by the name of Shinui, which had five members at the end of the term of the Ninth Knesset. In 1976 he was appointed one of the deputy chairmen of the Liberal International, continuing to serve in this position until 1999.

In the elections to the Tenth to Twelfth Knessets, Rubinstein ran at the head of the Shinui party, which in March 1992 joined with the Civil Rights Movement and *Mapam to form the *Meretz parliamentary group. Rubinstein ran in the elections to the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Knessets within the framework of Meretz, which became a single party in February 1997. In the National Unity government formed in 1984, he served as minister of communications but resigned in May 1987 after the inner Cabinet did not approve the London Agreement signed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shimon *Peres with King Hussein of Jordan, and due to an agreement signed by Prime Minister Yitzhak *Shamir to bring *Shas back into the government. In 1989 he was responsible for an amendment in the laws that enabled the opening of private academic institutions for the teaching of law, which opened the door to the establishment of numerous colleges that are not financed from public funds. In the course of the Twelfth Knesset, he was one of the four Knesset Members who initiated the passing of the law for the direct election of the prime minister. In the government formed by Yitzhak *Rabin in July 1992, he was first appointed minister of energy and infrastructures, but after Shulamit *Aloni was forced to resign from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports in May 1994, he replaced her. In the Fourteenth Knesset, Rubinstein served as chairman of the Knesset Economics Committee, and in the Fifteenth, first as chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, and then as chairman of the State Control Committee. Rubinstein resigned from the Fifteenth Knesset on October 31, 2002. He returned to academic life, being appointed dean of the law school at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliyyah. In 2004 he was appointed to head a public committee to examine parliamentary supervision over the defense establishment, and ways of improving it – a committee that submitted its report in January 2005.

Among his writings are Ha-Mishpat ha-Konstituẓiyyoni shel Medinat Yisrael (19965); Da'at Yaḥid: Devarim Bikhtav u-Be'al Peh – 1960–2001 (2001).

In 2006 Rubinstein was awarded the Israel Prize as "the father of constitutional law in Israel," citing his seminal work Constitutional Law of the State of Israel.

[Susan Hattis Rolef (2nd ed.)]

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