Born in Lithuania in 1936, Aharon Barak was one of the very few children to escape the Kovno Ghetto. He immigrated with his parents to Israel in 1947.
He studied law, economics and international relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and received an MA in law in 1958 and a doctorate in 1963. Judge Barak was appointed Associate Professor of Law at the Hebrew University in 1968, Professor in 1972, and Dean of Faculty in 1974. From 1978 to 1994, he was adjunct professor at the School of Law. He has also lectured at New York University School of Law (1970-72).
Judge Barak participated in the preparation of an international treaty on bills of exchange in the framework of the United Nations Commission of International Trade Law (1970-72), and served as Israel's Attorney General for three years (1975-78), before his appointment to the Supreme Court in 1978. He was appointed Deputy President of the Supreme Court in 1993, and President of the Supreme Court in 1995.
He received the Kaplan Prize for excellence in science and research (1973) and the Israel Prize in legal sciences (1975), and was named a member of the Israeli Academy of Sciences (1976).
Judge Barak has lectured widely internationally, including in the US, and is the author of several books in English and Hebrew including The Judge in a Democracy (2006), Purposive Interpretation in Law (2005) and Judicial Discretion (1989).
Judge Barak is married and the father of four.