School of Law

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Or Bassok

Assistant Professor in Constitutional Law, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr. Or Bassok earned his doctorate from Yale Law School. His doctorate examines shifts in the sources of legitimacy of the American Supreme Court and the evolution of American constitutional identity in recent decades. Before joining the University of Nottingham in September 2016, Bassok was a Max Weber Fellow in the European University Institute and a Baldy Fellow at the Buffalo Law School of the State University of New York. During the last stages of writing his dissertation, he was a Tikvah Scholar at New York University and a Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School. Bassok holds an LL.B (Magna Cum Laude) and LL.M (Magna Cum Laude) degrees from the Hebrew University and a JSD and an LL.M degrees from Yale Law School.

In his most recent Article, Bassok traces a major shift in how the American Supreme Court reads the Federalist 78th. Bassok attributes this shift to the invention of public opinion polls that made possible, for the first time in history, to understand the Court's legitimacy in terms of public support rather than in terms of expertise. In other recent works, Bassok examines whether a similar shift occurred with other national and international courts.

In a recent paper in the field of criminal law, Bassok argues that the growing reliance on military lawyers' to approve military operations will alter the defense of obedience to superior orders. Bassok argues that this development has the potential to hinder human rights' protection even when military lawyers perform their role properly. This argument goes against the conventional belief that the addition of legal constraints on military operations implies greater protection of human rights.

Prior to his graduate studies, Bassok was a defense lawyer in Israel. He appeared in criminal cases and human rights petitions. His last case before the Israeli Supreme Court dealt with the evidentiary meaning of a defendant's failure to testify in trial (the English translation can be found here: Milstein v. Chief Military Prosecutor).

SSRN page:

Expertise Summary

Constitutional Law; Criminal Law.

Teaching Summary

UK Public Law; Criminal Law

Selected Publications

School of Law

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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