Unlike most other countries, Israel does not have a formal constitution or a bill of rights on which laws are based, but rather on precedent rulings which have accumulated over time. The fact that many of the laws in Israel date back to the time of the British Mandate, while some property registrations date back even further to the period of Ottoman rule, adds several complications to the legal precedents.
Citizens of other countries should also be aware that there is no jury system in Israel, with a single judge able to hear court cases, or on instructions from the judicial authorities, a panel of judges can be appointed.
Understanding a Lawsuit in Israel
The basic trial court for a lawsuit in Israel is the Magistrate’s Court for both civil and criminal cases. The Magistrates Court is empowered to try criminal lawsuits, where the maximum sentence would be up to seven years imprisonment and civil suits, up to a maximum of one million shekels. The Magistrates Court also serves the function of a Small Claims Court as well as that of a Family Court. Any litigation involving labor matters would be heard by one of five District Labor Courts that deal exclusively with labor related cases.
The next rung up the judicial ladder are the District Courts that serve as Appeal Courts for Magistrate’s Court decisions, as well for trying cases that are beyond the powers of a Magistrate’s Court. In addition to this, the duties of the Attorney General include being a representative of the public interest in any legal matter. Further spice is added to the Israeli judicial system in the form of Religious Courts that were established in law as far back as the period of Ottoman Rule in the area. These courts hear matters that deal with personal status as well as functioning as Family Courts when required.
The Zelcer Law Firm
A lawsuit in Israel is a complex matter, aside from the individual legal details pertaining to the suit and it requires professional and properly equipped legal representation. The Zelcer Law Firm, which is based in Ramat Gan, is a leading firm that is ideally equipped and qualified to represent you effectively and efficiently at all levels of the Israeli judicial system.
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