Dr. Yoav Sapir

מנהלת הפקולטה למשפטים מורה מן החוץ


Yoav Sapir teaches Criminal Procedure at Tel-Aviv University. He is currently Israel's Chief National Public Defender.

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 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.

In addition to Tel Aviv University, he has taught courses on criminal law and procedure at Bar Ilan University, Haifa  University and the Interdisciplinary Center in Hertzeliya.

Research Interests and Teaching

Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Criminology and Theory of Punishment, Critical Analysis of the Law, Legal Theory and Jurisprudence


LL.B. (1996) Tel-Aviv University


 LL.M. (2000) and S.J.D. (2004) Harvard Law School


Representative Publications

114 Innocent People, 1748 Years in Prison, Calcalist Weekend Supplement (26 June 2014) [Hebrew]


Ofer Sitbon, Interview with Dr. Yoav Sapir, the Incoming Public Defender, 4 Ma'asei Mishpat, Tel Aviv University Journal of Law and Social Change 39 (2011) [Hebrew]


Illusions of Progress: The Right to Counsel in Israel from the British Mandate to the 1980's, in Current Trends in Criminal Procedure and Evidence (Anat Horovitz & Mordechai Kremnitzer, eds., 2009) (Hebrew).


Noblesse Oblige? Private and Public Representation in Criminal Cases, Legal Ethics, and the Client's Best Interestin David Wiener Book on Criminal Law and Ethics 131-166 (2009) (Hebrew).


Against Prevention? A Response to Harcourt's Against Prediction on Actuarial and Clinical Predictions and the Faults of Incapacitation, 33(1) Law & Social Inquiry 253 (2008).


Adequate Protection for "Not Very Nice People": Comments on the Thin Bill of Rights of the Draft Constitution, 10 Mishpat Umimshal (Law and Government in Israel) 571 (2007) (Hebrew)


Convicting the Innocent - In Memory of Dr. David Weiner, 48(2) Ha-Praklit 289 (2006) [Hebrew].


The Right to Adequate Representation  and "Ineffective Assistance of Counsel" Claim, 95 Ha-Sanegor 19 (2005) [Hebrew].


Keeping Gideon’s Promise: A Comparison of the American and Israeli Public Defender Experiences, 39 N.Y.U Review of Law & Social Change 203 (2004) (with Prof. Charles J. Ogletree Jr.).


Neither Intent Nor Impact: A Critique of the Racially Based Selective Prosecution Jurisprudence and a Reform Proposal, 19 Harvard Blackletter Law Journal 127 (2003).

Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
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