32 J. Comp. Legis. & Int'l L. 3d ser. 29 (1950)
Law and Judicial Practice in Israel

handle is hein.journals/jclilcs32 and id is 257 raw text is: LAW   AND JUDICIAL PRACTICE IN ISRAEL                     29
guide in a country with compulsory voting, lead one to suspect that bank
nationalization had by then become only a minor issue in the political situation.
Hence the Case of Bank Nationalization had a somewhat indecisive end, legally
and politically, but its politics as recorded in the Round Table and its law as
recor*ded in the Law Reports will remain of abiding interest to the student of
comparative federal institutions.
[Contributed by DR. J. SUSSMANN, Judge, District Court, Tel Aviv.]
ON the last day of the British Mandate, on May 14, 1948, the Provisional
State Council of the Jewish State met in Tel Aviv. The circumstances in which
the new State had come into being had made the holding of elections impossible.
The Council was, therefore, not an elected but an appointed body, the composition
of which had been agreed by all Jewish political parties according to an assess-
ment of their strength. The Council assumed the function of legislation, and
after proclaiming the State, the proclamation to come into effect at Midnight so
as to avoid conflicting with the Mandate, passed a Provisional Constitution styled
Government and Law Organization Ordinance, No. 1 of 1948 (hereinafter referred
to as the Ordinance). Under the Mandatory Regime, the country had been
administered under the Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922, made by virtue of the
Foreign Jurisdiction Act, 1890, and a number of subsequent amendments.
Legislative enactments made by the High Commissioner under the Order-in-
Council were called Ordinances, there was no elected Legislative, and there
were, therefore no laws.
The Provisional State Council continued the use of the word Ordinance
so as to indicate that it was not an elected legislative, and it was only after the
Constituent Assembly was elected and took office in February, 1949, that Laws
began to be enacted by this Assembly.
The Ordinance is divided into seven chapters, dealing with Administration,.
taxation, legislation, law, Judicature, Armed Forces and various transitory
provisions, respectively. The First Chapter confirms the establishment of the
Provisional State Council, and sets up a Provisional Government, to be responsible
to the Council. Chapter Two affirms the rule that no taxes may be levied without
the authority of an Ordinance, and that the budget must be passed by Ordinance.
In the Third Chapter, the Council assumes the functions of legislature, empower-
ing the Provisional Government in Article 9, in the event of a state of emergency
being proclaimed (which was done forthwith), to legislate by Emergency Legis-
lation. Any Emergency Legislation is, however, limited for a period of three
months, unless the validity thereof is extended by the Council.
Article 46 of the Palestine Order-in-Council, 1922, had defined the law to be
applied in Palestine. This consists, in the first place, of such Ottoman Laws
as had been in force before Turkey entered the war, on November 1, 1914,
and such later Ottoman Laws as were to be declared by Public notice, to
be in force. The second body of Palestine Law, according to that Article,
was to consist of Imperial Orders-in-Council applicable to Palestine, of
Ordinances made by the High Commissioner, and other local regulations.
Any lacuna left is to be filled in conformity with the substance of English
common law, and the doctrines of equity in force in England, 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
Although the Ottoman Law was inadequate to regulate conditions of a modem
society built on totally different foundations, while English law had been shown,
in a number of instances, to be not suitable, it was obviously impossible, on
May 15, 1948, to make any immediate drastic changes. The Palestine Order-
in-Council was left, and is still in force, and Section 11 of the Ordinance provides

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