Yoav Sapir is a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, the Academic Director of the Taubenschlag Institute of Criminal Law, and the Chair of the LL.M. Committee. He is the former Chief Public Defender of Israel. He earned his S.J.D. and LL.M. from Harvard and his LL.B. from Tel Aviv University, where he served as a member of the editorial board and as student editor of the Tel Aviv Law Review. He teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and an Advanced Seminar in Criminal Law for LL.M. students.
In 1997, upon completion of his clerkship term for Justice Mishael Cheshin of the Supreme Court of Israel, he joined the newly established Public Defender Office in Tel-Aviv, where he served as an Assistant District Public Defender and represented numerous defendants in all stages of the criminal process. He continued his studies at Harvard Law School where he was a Byse Fellow and taught a workshop on Critical Approaches to Criminal Law. He worked as an Associate at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in NYC and was an intern at the Public Defender Office in Washington D.C. and at the human rights organization, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After returning to Israel he re-joined the Public Defender Office to serve as the Deputy Chief Public Defender and the Director of the Supreme Court Appellate Division. He was appointed to be Chief Public Defender in 2012, and joined the Law Faculty at Tel Aviv University as a professor in 2021.
Sapir served as a member in several public committees such as the Committee for Reform in Homicide Law (headed by Prof. Kremnitzer) and the Committee on Criminal Procedure and Evidence (headed by Justice Naor and Justice Arbel).
He is the recipient of a number of scholarships and awards including, most recently, the TAU Provost Award for Academic Excellence in Teaching and the Israeli Association of Public Law’s Gorni Award for major contribution in the field.