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Colonial Cases

Bey v. Attorney General, 1930

[land law - government lawyer, right of private practice]

Bey v. Attorney General

High Court, Palestine
Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 7 May 1930



Can a Government advocate appear for a private person? This is a question which has been raised by a case now before the Courts and on which judgment has been reserved. The facts are these:

   The Attorney General had issued instructions to the Junior Government Advocate of Haifa ordering him to procure a power of Attorney from one Hassan El Haj Said of the village of Zeita, in order to start an action on his behalf, against the petitioners in the land Court of Samaria. The Junior Government Advocate, acting on such instructions from the Attorney General, took a power of Attorney from Hassan El Haj Said and applied to the Land Settlement at Hedera to have a plot of land, known as Khour el Wasah plot which had been declared by the High Commissioner as a Settlement Area excluded from the Area, in order that he might bring an action in the Samaria district.

   A petition was forwarded to the High Court by Abcarius Bey asking for a revision of his order to the Junior Government Advocate.

   On Monday the Attorney General appeared in person and Abcarius Bey appeared for the petitioners.  Abcarius Bey submitted to the Court that under the Advocates Ordinance neither the Attorney General nor the government Advocate could be heard before any Court in any judicial proceedings except when acting on behalf of the Government.  Therefore neither had the Attorney General authority to issue instructions to the junior Government Advocate to take a power of Attorney and defend the interest of a private individual, nor could the Government Advocate appear on behalf of such a private individual.

   A preliminary point was raised by the Chief Justice as to whether to High Court had jurisdiction to hear such an application as this.

   The Court, after hearing arguments by the Attorney General and Abcarius Bey reserved judgment.

   The application was heard before the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Khalidi and Mr. Justice Khayat.  Rifka Aaronson and Toba Rutman the petitioners were represented by Abcarius Bey and the Attorney General appeared on his own behalf and for the Junior Government Advocate.

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