AT THE COURT AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
The 10th day of August, 1922
THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
MR. SECRETARY SHORTT
Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922-1947
[As Currently in Force in the State of Israel]
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have agreed, for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory selected by the said Powers the administration of the territory of Palestine, which formerly belonged to the Turkish Empire, within such boundaries as may be fixed by them;
And whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country;
And whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine;
And whereas, by treaty, capitulation, grant, usage, sufferance and other lawful means, His Majesty has power and jurisdiction within Palestine.
NOW, THEREFORE, His Majesty, by virtue and in exercise of the powers in this behalf by the Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1890, or otherwise, in His Majesty vested, is pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, to order, and it is hereby ordered, as follows:—
In Accordance with Articles 14 and 15 of the Law and Administration Ordinance every function formerly vested in the King of Britain or in the High Commissioner shall now be vested in the Cabinet of Israel and the term "Palestine (E"I)", whenever appearing in any law, shall no be read as "Israel".
In Accordance with Article 13 of the Transition Law the term "Gazette", whenever appearing in any law, shall now be read as "Reshumot".
This Order may be cited as "The Palestine Order in Council, 1922-1947."
The limits of this Order are the territories to which the Mandate for Palestine (E"I) applies, hereinafter described as Israel.
In this Order the word:-
"Secretary of State" [Implied omitted]
"The High Commissioner" [Implied omitted]
"Public Lands" means all lands in Israel which are subject to the control of the Government of Israel by virtue of Treaty, convention, agreement or succession, and all lands which are or shall be acquired for the public service or otherwise.
"The Mandate" [Omitted]
"The High Commissioner in Council" [Omitted]
"Reshumot" [Orig.: Gazette]
means the Official Gazette of the Government of Israel.
"Person" includes Corporation.
"Religious Community" means any community mentioned in the Second Schedule to this Order and any community which may be declared by a Cabinet Decree to be a Religious Community.
Words importing the plural or the singular may be construed as referring to one person or thing or to more than one person or thing, and words importing the masculine as referring to females (as the case may require).
(i) Where this Order or any Ordinance confers a power or imposes a duty, then, unless a contrary intention appears, the power may be exercised and the duty shall be performed from time to time as occasion requires.
(ii) Where this Order or any Ordinance confers a power or imposes a duty on the holder of an office, then, unless a contrary intention appears, the power may be exercised and the duty shall be performed by the holder of the office for the time being or by a person duly appointed to act for him.
(iii) Where this Order or any Ordinance confers a power to make rules, regulations or orders, then, unless a contrary intention appears, the power shall be construed as including a power exercisable in the like manner and subject to the like approval and conditions (if any) to rescind, revoke, amend or vary the rules, regulations or orders.
(iv) Expressions defined in this Order shall have the same respective meaning in any Ordinances, rules or regulations made under this Order, unless a contrary intention appears.
4-8. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
The Cabinet shall keep and use the Public Seal of Israel for the sealing of all things whatsoever that shall pass the said Public Seal.
10. [This Article was superseded and has since been repealed.]
Definition of boundaries, formation of districts, etc.
(2) If a question arises whether any place is or is not within any administrative division or district, and such question does not appear to be determined by any such Resolution of the Cabinet or other evidence, it shall be referred to the Cabinet, and a certificate under its hand and seal shall be conclusive on the question, and judicial notice shall be taken thereof.
12-13. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
The Cabinet may appoint or authorize the appointment of such public officers of the Government of Israel under such designations as it may think fit, and may prescribe their duties; and all such public officers, unless otherwise provided by law, shall hold their offices during the pleasure of the Cabinet, unless otherwise stated by law.[The Cabinet has granted Individual Ministers the power to appoint the necessary officers to execute ordinances and regulations and to fulfill every other Ministerial Duty.]
Suspension of public officers.
The Cabinet may, upon sufficient cause to it appearing, dismiss or suspend from the exercise of his office any person holding any public office within Israel, or, subject as aforesaid, may take such other disciplinary action as may seem to it desirable.[The Cabinet has granted Individual Ministers the power to dismiss or temporarily suspend officers in working in the domain of their Ministry]
16-16E. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
17-34. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
IV. Application of Certain British Statutes.
35-37. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
38-44. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
The Minister of Justice may by order establish such separate Courts for the district of Beersheba and for such other tribal areas as he may think fit. Such courts may apply tribal custom, so far as it is not repugnant to natural justice or morality.
The jurisdiction of the Civil Courts shall be exercised in conformity with the Ottoman Law in force in Palestine on November 1st, 1914, and such later Ottoman Laws as have been or may be declared to be in force by Public Notice, and such Orders in Council, Ordinances and regulations as are in force in Palestine (E"I) at the date of the commencement of this Order, or may hereafter be applied or enacted; and subject thereto and so far as the same shall not extend or apply, shall be exercised in conformity with the substance of the common law, and the doctrines of equity in force in England, and with the powers vested in and according to the procedure and practice observed by or before Courts of Justice and Justices of the Peace in England, according to their respective jurisdictions and authorities at that date, save in so far as the said powers, procedure and practice may have been or may hereafter be modified, amended or replaced by any other provisions:
Provided always that the said common law and doctrines of equity shall be in force in Palestine so far only as the circumstances of Palestine and its inhabitants and the limits of His Majesty's jurisdiction permit and subject to such qualification as local circumstances render necessary.[This Article has been repealed by the Foundation of Justice Act, though preserved by a Grandfather Clause.]
Jurisdiction in personal status.
The Civil Courts shall further have jurisdiction, subject to the provisions contained in this Part of this Order, in matters of personal status as defined in Article 51 of persons in Israel. Such jurisdiction shall be exercised in conformity with any law, Ordinances or regulations that may here after be applied or enacted and subject thereto according to the personal law applicable.
48-50. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
Religious Courts, Jurisdiction of Religious Courts, Definition of Personal Status.
(1) Subject to the provisions of Articles 64 to 67 inclusive Jurisdiction In Matters Of Personal Status Shall Be Exercised In Accordance With The Provisions Of This Part By The Courts Of The Religious Communities. For The Purpose Of These Provisions Matters Of Personal Status Mean Suits Regarding Marriage Or Divorce, Alimony, Maintenance, Guardianship, Legitimation Of Minors, Inhibition From Dealing With Property Of Persons Who Are Legally Incompetent, And The Administration Of The Property Of Absent Persons.
(2) Provisions regarding the following may be enacted by Order:
- (a) The Compostition, Organization and Procedure of the Courts of the Religious Communities, and, subject to this Order, the use of their Jurisdiction;
- (b) Determination of the Causes in which a Person is considered a Member of a Religious Community and the methods of making conversions legally valid and the consequences of these conversions.
Moslem Religious Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction in matters of personal status of Moslems in accordance with the provisions of the Law of Procedure of the Moslem Religious Courts of the 25th October, 1333, A.H., as amended by any Ordinance or Rules. They shall also have, subject to the provisions of any Ordinance or of the Order of the 20th December, 1921, establishing a Supreme Council for Moslem Religious Affairs, or of any Orders amending the same, exclusive jurisdiction in cases of the constitution or internal administration of a Wakf constituted for the benefit of Moslems before a Moslem Religious Court.
The Rabbinical Courts of the Jewish Community shall have:--
- (i) [Repealed].
- (ii) [Repealed].
- (iii) Exclusive jurisdiction over any case as to the constitution or internal administration of a Wakf or religious endowment constituted before the Rabbinical Court according to Jewish Law.
Christian Religious Courts.
The Courts of the several Christian communities shall have:--
- (i) Exclusive jurisdiction in matters of marriage and divorce, alimony, and confirmation of wills of members of their community other than foreigners as defined in Article 59.
- (ii) Jurisdiction in any other matters of personal status of such persons, where all the parties to the action consent to their jurisdiction.
- (iii) Exclusive jurisdiction over any case concerning the constitution or internal administration of a Wakf or religious endowment constituted before the Religious Court according to the religious law of the community, if such exists.
- (iv) Jurisdiction to decide on appeals on any law, exlcuding Israeli law, regardless of the Parties being Israeli subjects or Foreigners.
Conflicts Law and Jurisdiction.
Where any action of personal status involves persons of different religious communities, application may be made by any party to the President of the Supreme Court [Orig.: Chief Justice]
, who shall, with the assistance, if he thinks fit, of assessors from the communities concerned, decide which Court shall have jurisdiction. Whenever a question arises as to whether or not a case is one of personal status within the exclusive jurisdiction of a Religious Court, the matter shall be referred to a Special Tribunal of which the constitution shall be prescribed by Ordinance.
56-57. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
Jurisdiction over foreign subjects.
The Civil Courts shall exercise jurisdiction over foreigners, subject to the following provisions:--
For the purpose of this part of the Order the expression "foreigner" means any person who is not an Israeli Subject.
60-63. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
Matters of personal status.
(i) Matters of personal status affecting foreigners other than Moslems shall be decided by the Civil Courts which shall apply the personal law of the parties concerned in accordance with such regulations as may be made by the Cabinet:
provided always that the Courts shall have no jurisdiction to pronounce a decree of dissolution of marriage until an Ordinance is passed conferring such jurisdiction.
(ii) The personal law shall be the law of the nationality of the foreigner concerned unless that law imports the law of his domicile, in which case the latter shall be applied.
(iii) In trying matters of personal status affecting foreigners, the Court may invite the Consul or a representative of the Consulate of the foreigner concerned to sit as an assessor for the purpose of advising upon the personal law concerned. In case of an appeal from a judgment in such a case the Consul or representative of the Consulate of the foreigner concerned shall be entitled to sit as an assessor in the Court of Appeal.
Right to refer case to Religious Courts.
Nothing in the preceding article shall be construed to prevent foreigners from consenting to such matters being tried by the Courts of the Religious Communities having jurisdiction in like matters affecting Israeli Subjects.
The Courts of the Religious Communities other than the Moslem Religious Courts shall not, however, have power to grant a decree of dissolution of marriage to a foreign subject.
For the Purposes of this Article, Dissolution of Marriage includes Divorce and Separation.
65A-67. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
VI. Removal and Deportation.
68-72. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
VII. Validation of Ordinances and Indemnification.
73-80. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
81. [This Article was superseded and has since been repealed.]
All Ordinances, official notices and official forms of the Government and all official notices of local authorities and municipalities in areas to be prescribed by order of the Cabinet, shall be published in [Orig.: English,]
Arabic and Hebrew. The three languages may be used, subject to any regulations to be made by the Cabinet from time to time, in the Government offices and the Law Courts.
In case of a Conflict between the English version of an Ordinance, official notice or official form and the Arabic or Hebrew version thereof, the English Version Shall Prevail.[The Obligation to use English has been voided by Article 15(c) of the Law and Administration Ordinance.]
[The second Paragraph of this Article was superseded, though not repealed, by Article 24 of the Interpretation Act, 5741-1981, which states that "The binding text of any law is the text in the language in which it was enacted: Provided that in case of a law originally enacted in English before the establishment of the State, for which a new version has been made under Article 16 of the Law and Administration Ordinance, 5708-1948(2), the new version shall be the binding text.".]
All persons in Palestine shall enjoy full liberty of conscience, and the free exercise of their forms of worship subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals. Each religious community shall enjoy autonomy for the internal affairs of the community subject to the provisions of any Ordinance or Order issued by the Cabinet.
84-90. [These Articles were superseded and have since been repealed.]
Second Schedule - Article 2
The Eastern (Orthodox) Community.
The Latin (Catholic) Community.
The Gregorian Armenian Community.
The Armenian (Catholic) Community.
The Syrian (Catholic) Community.
The Chaldean (Uniate) Community.
The Jewish Community.
The Greek Catholic Melkite Community.
The Maronite Community.
The Syrian Orthodox Community.
The Vangelical Episcopal Church In Israel.
The Baha'i Faith.