Prof. Nili Cohen





Prof. Nili Cohen, member of the Israeli Academy of Science and Humanities and incumbent of Benno Gitter Chair in Comparative Contract Law, gained her Ll.B magna cum laude at the Faculty of Law, Tel-Aviv University in 1971. As a student she was the founding editor (with Prof. Z. Zeltner) of the legal periodical of the Faculty - Tel-Aviv University Law Review (Iyunei Mishpat).


While studying for her Ll.M, she served as a research and a teaching assistant in the courses of property and evidence. She gained her Ll.M summa cum laude in 1975. She was awarded The Douckhan Prize for her  research paper on "The Assignment of Lease". Her Ll.M thesis on "The Application of the Law of Contracts to Juristic Acts and Obligations" was supervised by Prof. Z. Zeltner, the President of the Tel-Aviv District Court, with whom she also law-clerked.


For her dissertation on "The Protection of Obligation Against Interference by Third Parties" (supervised by Prof. D. Friedmann) she was awarded Ph.D. in 1978.


In the academic year 1977/8 she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and upon her return to Israel, she was appointed a faculty member in the Faculty of Law at Tel-Aviv University, and became a full professor in 1989.


Her teaching and research interests are focused in private law, Comparative Law and in law and literature. She taught Tort Law and is teaching the main course on Contracts, and electives on privity of contract and Law and Literature. She held (with Dr. Shai Lavi) an interdisciplinary seminar on memory and law.


She published books and articles in Israel and abroad. Her books and articles are frequently cited by the Courts in Israel.


For her book "Interference with Contractual Relations" she was awarded the Sussman Prize. For her book "Inducing Breach of Contract" she was awarded the Zeltner Prize and for her book "Contracts" she was awarded (with D. Friedmann) the Sussman Prize for the second time. In 2002 she was awarded the Minkoff Prize for excellence in Law. She was awarded the Rector's Prize for Excellence in Teaching for being the best teacher in the Faculty of Law in 2003/4 and also in 2004/5.


Her article "Rescission of a Contract and its Effect on Unregistered Transactions in Land" was included in the Jubilee Book of the Law Review "Hapraklit", which included the most important articles ever published in this Law Review.



Between the years 1997-2001 she served as Rector of Tel-Aviv University. Before that (since 1994) she served as Vice-Rector. As Rector she put great emphasis on the development of advanced degrees, on the establishment of inter- and multi-disciplinary research and teaching programs, on the advancement of foreign academic relations and on the involvement of Tel-Aviv University in the community.


In 1995 she was invited to a conference on modern contract law in Oxford. Her lecture was later published in a book entitled "Good Faith and Fault in Contract Law".


She was invited to lecture on Illegality at the University of London within the Annual Conference of the Society of Legal Scholars. The book on Comparative Remedies for Breach of Contract edited by her and Prof. E. McKendrick (Oxford) was published by Hart in 2005. She also takes part in the Comparative Forum of Trento within which she contributed to the volume on Pre-Contractual Liability (published by Cambridge).


The University of Munich invited her in 1997 to deliver a lecture on "Good Faith in Contract Law", in 2005 to deliver a lecture on "Private Order and Public Values" and in 2007 on "Equality in Private Law". In 2005 she took part in a conference held by the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University on "Memory" and delivered a lecture on "Memory and Oblivion in Law".


Nili Cohen was awarded an Honorary Degree at the University of Buenos Aires in 1998. She also delivered a lecture in Buenos Aires in 2000 on "Constitutional Values and Contract Law". In 2003 she was invited by UNAM in Mexico City to deliver a lecture on "Equality in Contracts" within the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Fund for Human Rights in Private Law.

In 2008 she was invited by the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi to talk on Human Rights in Contracts; in 2010 she lectured in honor of Prof. Amnon Rubinstein on "Prisoners, Communities and Natural Authority". Since 2005 she organizes the open series on Law and Literature, within which the most prominent Israeli authors, Amos Oz, A"B Yehoshua, David Grossman, Meir Shalev, take part.

Nili Cohen was a member of the Committee of the Codification of Israeli Law in 2007 and took part in a conference in the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg dedicated to the project. In 1999 she was elected Associate Member of the International Academy for Comparative Law. Since 2006 she is a member of the American Law Institute. She was the Head of the Legislative Committee of the organization of Heads of Universities-in-Israel. Since 2000 she is a member of the Academic Council of Venice International University, in which Tel-Aviv University is a member and the membership of which she established as rector. In the academic year 2002/2003 she visited New York University and gave the opening lecture in the conference marking the election of Professor Sexton as President of NYU. In 2003-2004 she served as member of the Governmental Task Force for the advancement of education in Israel. She served as a member of the Advisory Committe of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University and is in the Advisory Bord of Minerva fund for Human Rights.


Within the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities she served as a chairperson of the "Young Academy Scholars" and a member of the committee for the advancement of the humanities.

Nili Cohen is married to Amiram Cohen (a lawyer) and they have three children - Yonatan (working in software industry), Michal (a lawyer) and Talia (a lawyer).