Sifri v Attorney-General

JurisdictionIsrael
CourtSupreme Court (Israel)
Docket NumberCase No. 22
Israel, Supreme Court sitting as the High Court of Justice.

(Dunkelblum, Agranat and Silberg JJ.)

Case No. 22
Sifri
and
Attorney-General.

State Succession — Public Officials — Termination of Mandate for Palestine — The Law of Israel.

The Facts.—This was an application for an order of mandamus. Section 1 of the Palestine Government Employees Ordinance No. 7 of 5708–1948 enacted by the legislature of Israel provided that any person who, on the last day of the Mandate, was in the service of the Government of Palestine and whose ordinary place of residence was on that day in the territory of the State of Israel, shall temporarily serve the Government of Israel. The same Ordinance made provision for the termination of such employment. The Applicant, an Arab, had been in the service of the Government of Palestine up to May 14, 1948 (the date of the termination of the Mandate), and had received salary in advance up to June 15, 1948. In April 1948 he left his permanent place of residence in Jerusalem and went to live in an area which subsequently, in May, was taken by the Israel Army, when the Applicant was interned as a civilian war internee. He was released early in 1949, when he applied to be “reinstated” in the service of the Government of Israel. This request was ultimately rejected and the present application was brought.

Held: that the application must be dismissed, following Shimshon v. Attorney-General (see supra, Case No. 19). The judgment of the Court was delivered by Dunkelblum J., who said:

“It is clear, therefore, that on the termination of the Mandate the officials of the former Mandatory Government possessed no right to employment by the new State of Israel, which is free to appoint its officials as it thinks best, whether from the ranks of the former officials, or from among those who never had served the Mandatory Government. However, the above-cited Ordinance gave the Mandatory officials a special status inasmuch as they were taken over by the new Government temporarily. The question, therefore, arises whether the Applicant meets the conditions laid down by the Ordinance.

“Even before the termination of the Mandate it was a matter of common notoriety that the Mandatory Government would cease its activities and the responsible Jewish organs … issued various orders by which the Jewish officials of the Mandatory Government were requested to remain at their posts after the termination of the Mandate. It was...

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