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Adopted Laws

Compared to other countries in the world, the legal status in Palestine is at once complicated and unique because a number of authorities have ruled over Palestine throughout history. Various legal systems have prevailed in Palestine. Accordingly, multiple legal systems have affected the political and legal structures in Palestine. The partition of Palestine has also led to the emergence of complex and varying legal systems in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem as well as within part of Palestinian territories occupied in 1948. Until the end of the Ottoman rule in 1917, the legal system in Palestine was based – primarily – on principles of the Islamic Law, but it was also influenced by the Latin system in Europe. In 1917, the Ottoman rule was terminated by the establishment of the British Mandate, which re-formed the legal system in Palestine. The British added to the Ottoman legislation the principles of the Anglo-Saxon system (the Common Law) which is based on judicial precedents. In 1948, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ruled over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The West Bank submitted then to the Jordanian legal system that is influenced by the Latin system. On the other hand, the Egyptian Administration controlled the Gaza Strip. The Common Law established during the British Mandate period remained effective in the Gaza Strip. Following the 1967 war, the Israeli occupation seized control of the Palestinian legal system by imposing the military law (Military Orders) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories. After annexing it in 1980, the Israeli occupation submitted East Jerusalem to the Israeli Domestic Law. According to the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 (Oslo Agreement I), the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established. Foundations were set for the Israeli-Palestinian agreements that regulate PA powers and authorities. Consolidation and approximation of various legal systems operative in the Palestinian territories are the most important legal issues. Since 1994, consolidated legislation has been promulgated for both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip governorates.

( See Laws and Reulatios in Palestine -Home page)

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