Binyamin Blum joined the Law Faculty of Hebrew University in 2012. As a legal historian of the British Empire, Blum specializes in the relation between law and colonialism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Blum’s current book project Forensic Culture in the Age of Empire explored the colonial origins of forensic science. Building on the observation that many of the forensic technologies of the nineteenth century were invented by non-scientists in the colonies, the book explores the cultural underpinnings of forensic epistemology as a new approach towards fact-finding. Stemming from perceived notions concerning native mendacity, non-cooperation and the difficulties of cross-racial identification, forensic science rendered crime scenes legible without the mediation of native eyewitnesses, thus facilitating policing across the cultural gaps of empire.
Blum also writes on current issues of evidence and proof, such as the suppression of confessions and the exclusion of unlawfully obtained evidence more generally, the spousal privilege, DNA and circumstantial evidence, rape shield statutes and character evidence.
After receiving his B.A. and LL.B (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Blum clerked for the Honorable Justice Ayala Procaccia of the Israeli Supreme Court. He went on to earn a doctorate in law and an M.A. in history as a Presidential Fellow at Stanford University. In 2009, Blum was a fellow at the J. Willard Hurst Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
At Hebrew University Dr. Blum teaches courses in legal history, law and colonialism and evidence. He currently co-chairs the Jerusalem Legal History Forum and the Jerusalem Crime Group an interdisciplinary forum for law enforcement policy analysis. He is the co-founder of the British Colonial Legalities Collaborative Research Network in the Law and Society Association.
JSD, Stanford Law School, 2012
MA (History), Stanford University, 2011
JSM, Stanford University, 2006
LLB, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2004
BA (Philosophy and History), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2004