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Colonial Cases

Sursock v. Jaffa Municipality, 1932

[road building]

Sursock v. Jaffa Municipality

Court of Appeal, Palestine
Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 7 March 1932


Court of Appeal, Palestine


Source: The Palestine Bulletin, 7 March 19



Court of Appeal Holds Jaffa Municipality Paid More Than Due.

   An interesting case was heard before the Court of Appeal, the Chief Justice presiding, on Friday last, between Messrs. Sursock of Beyrouth and the Jaffa Municipality.  Messrs. Richardson, Turtledove and Co. and Ragheb Eff. Imam appeared for the Municipality and Mr., Chacton for Messrs. Sursock.

   Mt. Richardson, arguing on behalf of the Municipality, explained to the Court that during the War in 1915 when Military Law was in force in Jaffa, the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, Jamal Pasha, ordered the construction of the main boulevard now known at King George Avenue in Jaffa.  For this purpose he conscripted civil labour from among the population, pulled down all obstructing buildings and opened the avenue which he named after himself, "Jamal Pasha Avenue".  Since the British Occupation the name had been changed to King George Avenue.  Part of the property affected belonged to Respondents, Messrs. Sursock, who had sued the Jaffa Municipality for the sum of L.P. 3557 as balance of compensation claimed in respect of the property expropriated.  It was admitted that L.P. 2090 had already been paid by the Municipality.

Liable In Turkish Currency.

   On behalf of the Jaffa Municipality it was further argued that they were not liable to pay such compensation as they had acted under compulsion threats of the Military Commander and had never voluntarily taken possession of the land.  Alternatively, it was argued that the rate of compensation should be assessed in Turkish paper currency at the date of the expropriation.

   The Chief Justice in delivering judgment held that although the Municipality were liable to pay certain compensation to Messrs. Sursock they were only liable to pay the same at the rate of Turkish paper currency on the date in question, namely February 1915, and that as the Municipality had already paid over L.P. 2000 in respect of this expropriation, it had more than paid the amount due.

   Judgment of the District Court of Jaffa against the Municipality of L.P. 3557 was set aside accordingly.

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