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Colonial Cases

Arabs of Indiat Village v. Government of Palestine, 1932


Arabs of Indiat Village v. Government of Palestine

Court of Appeal, Palestine
Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 8 March 1932




   A case which has been before the Courts for many years was brought to a sudden close yesterday morning in the Supreme Court when the Chief Justice, sitting with Mr, Justice Baker and Mr. Justice Khayat, as a Court of Appeal from a decision on January 3, 1931 of the Land Court of Haifa, decided that the colonists of Hedera were entitled to the rights they claimed in the Infiat lands.

   It was expected that the case would last two days, but Abcarius Bey for the colonists raised a preliminary objection.  He argued that the appeal was out of time and based himself on the Land Settlement Ordinance, which varies the previous Turkish practice.  Normally, it is possible to send an appeal to the Court which gave the decision or to the Court of Appeal in Jerusalem within 30 days of the judgment; in the case of appeals from the Land Court sitting as Court of Appeal from the Settlement Officer, the appeal must reach the Court of Appeal in Jerusalem within the said period.

   In the present case the appeal did not reach the Court in Jerusalem until nearly three months later.  Mr. Hanna Asfour, for the Appellants, argued that the contention was untenable, but the Court of Appeal held that the argument of Abcarius Bey was clearly right and that it was not in a position to go behind the clear wording of the ordinance.

   The Judgment in full is as follows:-

Section 186 of the Code of Civil Procedure laid it down that an appeal should be lodged by presenting an application direct to the Court of Appeal.

   Serration 22 of tine addendum in the Civil Procedure Code provided that a petition for appeal could be made to the Court of Appeal or to the Court of the place in which the Appellant resided.

   Section 57 (2) of the Land Settlement Ordinance expressly prescribes that Notice of an appeal from the judgment of a Land Court to the Court of Appeal shall be lodged within a certain time.

   The Land Court ordinance in Section 7 (2) expressly imports, subject to any Rules of Court, into the Procedure of the land Courts the procedure laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure as amended.

   The Land Settlement ordinance 1928 does mot expressly import this Code or its addendum.

   This Ordinance expressly requires Notice of the appeal to be lodged with the Court of Appeal.  Can it be said that filing the Notice in the LAND Court addressed "to the President of the Supreme court through the Presidency of the land Court, Haifa!" is such lodging?

   We are bound to hold that it is not: and that therefore the appeal which was only forwarded to the Supreme Court on the 21st March has not been lodged with this Court within the prescribed time.  Therefore we are not seized of the appeal.

   We must therefore give judgment for the Respondents with L.P. 6 advocates fees and costs.

   Abcarius Bey appeared for the colonists of Hedera and for the Pica, the latter being represented also by Mr. Faradji and Mr. Kaiserman, while Mr. Eliash appeared for Mr. Khankin; Mr. Doukan on behalf of the Attorney General and madi.. Eff. el Madi and Hana Eff. Asfour  for the Appellants.

   The Appellants were the Arabs of Indiat Village and the Settlement Committee represented by Nimr Hassan es. Sayid; Muhamad el Muhsin, and Ali el Abdallah, while the respondents were the Government of Palestine, through Mr. Doukan, Attorney for the Land Department; Hedera Village Settlement committee; Yehoshu'a Khankin; Abdullah Samara and partners; the Agudath Neta'im and the Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association of Haifa.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School