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Meir Shamgar

Meir Shamgar

Israeli judge
The basics
Occupations Judge
Gender male
Birth August 13, 1925 (Gdańsk)
Education University of London, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Authority ISNI id Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

Meir Shamgar (Hebrew: מאיר שמגר) (born August 13, 1925) was President of the Israeli Supreme Court from 1983 until 1995.


Shamgar at the age of 18
Shamgar in detention in Eritrea, 1946

Meir Shamgar (Sterenberg or Sternberg) was born in the Free City of Danzig (modern Gdańsk, Poland) to Eliezer and Dina Sterenberg. His parents were Revisionist Zionists. He immigrated to Palestine in 1939. He attended high school at the Balfour Gymnasium in Tel Aviv.

He joined the Palmach and served in Company D. He then joined the Irgun. He was arrested in 1944 for anti-British activities, and interned in Africa at a detention camp in Eritrea. While in detention in Eritrea he studied law by a correspondence course with the University of London. Fellow inmates in Eritrea included Yitzhak Shamir and Shmuel Tamir. He participated in an escape attempt.

In 1948, with the establishment of Israel, he was returned to Israel with the other detainees, where he enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces and participated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

After the war, he studied history and philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and law at the Government Law School of the University of London.

Legal career

Following his studies, Shamgar rejoined the army as a military prosecutor. He was appointed Deputy Chief Military Prosecutor in 1956, and Chief Military Prosecutor in 1961. Following the Six-Day War, he designed the legal infrastructure of the Israeli military government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He attained the rank of Brigadier General. After retiring from the military, he served as Attorney General from 1968 to 1975. In 1975, he became a judge on the Israeli Supreme Court. In 1982, he was appointed Deputy Permanent President of the Supreme Court, and in 1983, he became President of the Supreme Court. He retired in 1995.

In 1996 Shamgar chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

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