Table of Contents

Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Second Edition

Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Second Edition

Elgar original reference

Edited by Jan M. Smits

Written by leading authorities in their respective fields, the contributions in this accessible book cover and combine not only questions regarding the methodology of comparative law, but also specific areas of law (such as administrative law and criminal law) and specific topics (such as accident compensation and consideration). In addition, the Encyclopedia contains reports on a selected set of countries’ legal systems and, as a whole, presents an overview of the current state of affairs.

Chapter 36: Israel

Gabriela Shalev

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law


The state of Israel was established on 14 May 1948 as a national homeland for the Jewish people. The Israeli legal system was initially based on the Ottoman and British law, as these were the last two rulers in Palestine, prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. At first, the new state of Israel, seeking to avoid disruption of the social fabric in the wake of political change, preserved most of the existing legal order by fixing the legal norms created by the former rulers. The legal system in Israel cannot be categorized as part of one unified legal family, for example common law or civil law. Rather, it may be described as a system of ‘mixed jurisdiction’, though not in the traditional meaning, as the mixed jurisdiction in Israel is temporary and transitional. In the first years of statehood, Israeli law comprised different layers, based on various legal sources, derived from different legal families (British law representing common law and Ottoman law representing civil law). Gradually, original Israeli legislation was enacted to replace the foreign law. Since this new legislation is not retroactive, two different systems of law coexisted simultaneously. This coexistence of different institutions, borrowed from different legal families, accords Israeli private law the title of a mixed jurisdiction.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information