Prof. Avihay Dorfman

Faculty of Law
מנהלת הפקולטה למשפטים סגל אקדמי בכיר
Prof. Avihay Dorfman
Phone: 03-6407279
Fax: 03-6409576
Office: Minkoff - Law, 339


Dorfman is a professor of law at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law.  He works in the theoretical foundations of law. He has written articles on various basic questions in private law theory and doctrine as well as on the morality of public ordering, including research on why privatization may sometimes be impermissible and on what might make political authority legitimate. In each of these studies, Dorfman focuses on the non-instrumental values that underlie key legal and political institutions. In that, his studies elaborate the non-contingent implications of the law for the possibility of establishing forms of valuable interactions between, and among, persons.

His work has appeared in Philosophy & Public Affairs, Columbia Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, University of Toronto Law Journal, Legal Theory, Law & Philosophy, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, American Journal of Jurisprudence, Modern Law Review, and more.   Dorfman is currently working on three different book projects: a tort theory book titled Conflict between Equals: Tort Law for a Liberal Society; a private law theory book, with Hanoch Dagan, titled Relational Justice: A Theory of Private Law (forthcoming 2024, Oxford UP); and a legal theory book, with Alon Harel, titled Reclaiming the Public (2024, Cambridge UP).

Dorfman is a graduate of Yale Law School (J.S.D.) and Haifa University (LL.B. and B.A. in Economics).  He was a law clerk for The Honorable Aharon Barak, the (then) Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel and, more recently, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and Cornell Law School.   


Dorfman’s primary research and teaching interests include private law, the private/public distinction, and theories of political legitimation.  Representative publications are:



Research Interests and Teaching

Torts, property, theories of political legitimation, and religious liberty


2008 Yale Law School, J.S.D.
2006 Yale Law School, LL.M
2004 Haifa University, LL.B.
2004 Haifa University, B.A. (Economics)


Academic Appointments

Full Professor, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, 2019-present
Visitor Professor, Cornell Law School, 2016-17, 2022-23
Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School, 2015-16
Professor of Law, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, 2015-2019
Senior Lecturer , Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law 2012-15
Lecturer, Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law 2009-2012


Full CV

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