Ruth Gavison is Haim H. Cohn Professor of Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Professor Gavison has a LLB (with distinction)(1969), an LLM (with special distinction)(1971), a BA in Philosophy and Economics from the Hebrew University (1970), and a D.Phil in Legal Philosophy from Oxford (1975). She teaches Legal Theory and Human Rights in the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has taught as a visiting Professor at the Yale Law School (1978-1980) and the USC Law Center (1990-1992). In 1998-1999 she was Laurance Rockefeller fellow at the Center for Human Values in Princeton University, where she worked on equality and segregation.
A founding member of the Israeli Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) since 1974, she served for many years as its Chairperson, and was its President in the years 1996-1999. She is currently a member of the International Commission of Jurists.
In 1997 she won the Zeltner prize for excellence in research. In the years 1999-2001 she was involved in an intensive dialogue with Rav Yaacov Medan, which generated a draft new covenant between religious and secular Jews in Israel. The covenant won the Avihai prize for 2000. In May 2002 she won (with R. Medan) the Toleration Award of The Movement of Toleration, and in September 2002 she won the Jerusalem Toleration Prize. In 2003 she won the Emet Prize for Law and Political Science.
She is a member of the presidium of Moetzet Yahad: a national body working under the auspices of the President on consensus-building between religious and secular Jews in Israel. Since 2002 she has served on the advisory board of Privacy International.
Her areas of research include the relationships between law and politics, processes of constitution-making, privacy and the private-public distinction, Israeli society, and the role of laws and courts in divided democracies. Professor Gavison is a frequent contributor to the media in Israel and a regular participant in public debates.