Hired Guns and Ministers of Justice: The Role of Government Attorneys in the United States and Israel


Publish Date:
March 1, 2016
Publication Title:
Israel Law Review
Journal Article


What is the role of a government attorney who represents a government agency on judicial review?   Most academic literature in US advocates the “hired gun” model in which the role of the government lawyer is no different from a lawyer representing a private client (although some academics and government lawyers disagree).  The prevailing view in Israel is that government lawyers are “ministers of justice” owing a primary obligation to the public interest rather than to the client agency.   This difference is attributable both to fundamental differences between the legal culture of the US and Israel as well as to certain unique features of the Israeli system of judicial review.