Prof. Jonathan Yovel is professor of law at the University of Haifa, Israel and New York University, as well as a senior research scholar at Yale Law School.
Jonathan Yovel studied law, philosophy, and linguistics at Tel-Aviv, Oxford, Chicago and Northwestern, and is a former practicing lawyer. His diverse work lies mostly at the junction of the linguistic construction of normativity in various forms, yet he has also worked and published in legal theory, international and comparative law, contract law theory, formal and applied logic, human rights law, political theory, pragmatics and metapragmatics, law and literature, Biblical hermeneutics, law and cinema and the epistemological relations between law and the social sciences. His most recent work attempts to render a new account for the role of legal language in secularization processes in early modernity that centers on cultural and literary texts rather than on the canon of liberal political philosophy. Yovel advises and appears for various civil rights NGOs in Supreme Court cases and other impact litigation and has testified in parliamentary committees on international justice, minority rights, election finance and other issues.
Jonathan Yovel has taught or held visiting research positions at Columbia Law School, The Max Planck Institute for Public International Law (Heidelberg) and for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg), Toronto Faculty of Law and Brooklyn Law School and has served as an academic observer at UNCITRAL. He is a returning visiting professor at Lucerne University. Since 2009 he has been conducting the interdisciplinary Aquinas Reading Group (which he founded) that accompanies the preparation of a new translation of Aquinas’ Treatise on Law. His work was published in some forty articles in law reviews and peer-edited journals, book chapters and encyclopedia entries in the US, Europe and Israel. Since 2011 Yovel serves as a lay judge of Israel’s Court of Standard Contracts.