Haim Cohn

Haim Herman Cohn (Hebrew: חיים הרמן כהן, born 11 March 1911, died 10 April 2002) was an Israeli jurist and politician.

Haim Cohn
Cohen haim.jpg
Date of birth(1911-03-11)11 March 1911
Place of birthLübeck, German Empire
Year of aliyah1930
Date of death10 April 2002(2002-04-10) (aged 91)
Place of deathJerusalem,[1] Israel
Ministerial roles
1952Minister of Justice
Other roles
1950–1960Attorney General


Haim Cohn was born in Lübeck, Germany in 1911 to a religious family. He was chairman of a World Agudath Israel branch in Hamburg. At age 18 he came to the British Mandate of Palestine to study at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem, where he studied under rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook.[2] He was also a Hazzan in Mea Shearim. He returned to Germany to complete his law studies at Frankfurt University.[3] He emigrated to Palestine 1933 due to the rise of Nazism in Germany. He had earned with a PhD in law. In 1936 he was certified as a lawyer and the following year he opened an office in Jerusalem.[4]

After the establishment of the State of Israel, he was appointed manager of the legislation department of the Ministry of Justice, and later became State Attorney. In 1949 he was made CEO of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General of Israel a year later.[3] As Attorney General, he decided to indict Malchiel Gruenwald, starting the Rudolf Kastner trial[5] and decided to ignore the (British based) law "and refrained from pressing charges on the conduct of homosexual relations between consenting adults." [6]

In 1952 he was also Minister of Justice, without being an MK.[7] In 1960 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel, a position he held until his retirement in 1981.[3]

In addition to his civil service, he was also a visiting lecturer in the Tel Aviv University (from 1956 to 1969) and Hebrew University of Jerusalem (from 1954 to 1976) law schools, a representative of Israel in the United Nations Human Rights Council and a member of the International Court of Justice in Hague.[1] He was a member of the "T'hila" Movement for Israeli Jewish secularism.[3][4]

He wrote five books, including The Trial and Death of Jesus in 1968,[1] in which he argued that it was the Romans, not the Sanhedrin, who tried and executed Jesus.[8]

He died in 2002.[1] President of the Supreme Court Aharon Barak cited him as one of the founders of Israeli law.[3]

Awards and honorsEdit

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Cohn, Haim (1980). The Trial and Death of Jesus. Ktav Pub Inc. ISBN 0-87068-432-9.
  • Cohn, Haim Hermann; S. Giora Shoham (1971). Of Law and Man: Essays in Honor of Haim H. Cohn : Under the Auspices of the. Sabra Books. pp. 387. ISBN 0-87631-044-7.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Haim Cohen, 91, Israeli Judge And Human Rights Advocate". New York Times. 2002-04-13. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  2. ^ Beck, Mordechai (2002-05-09). "Haim Cohn". The Guardian. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lubitch, Vered; David Hacohen (2002-04-10). "Judge Haim Cohn died". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  4. ^ a b c "Cohen (Herman) Haim". nfc (in Hebrew). 2003-12-19. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  5. ^ "Kastner Affair". Knesset website. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  6. ^ Asa-El, Amotz (2006-11-06). "Middle Israel: Oy gay!". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
  7. ^ "Haim Cohn". Knesset website (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  8. ^ "An Attempt to Save Jesus?". Time Magazine. 1967-11-10. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  9. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1980" (in Hebrew).

External linksEdit