Israel's legal system has a diverse ancestry. From 1516-1917, when it was a province of the Ottoman
Empire, it was ruled by Turkish Law. This was fairly simplistic, reflecting the uncomplicated world
of the time, and was ill equipped to handle many modern issues, like limited corporate entities.
Toward the end of Ottoman rule, French and German Civil Law was imported to "fill in the gaps".
When the British gained their mandate over Palestine, they were reluctant to overturn an existing legal
system, since it was not a true colony. The 1922 Kings Order in Council allowed them to import English
law. After gaining independence in 1948, Israel kept the Anglo-American Common Law base and looked to
them for precedent, although most legislation was made by the Knesset. Traditional Jewish Law has had
an influence on the Israeli Legal System, such as in the 1965 Law of Agency, and many modern Hebrew
legal terms were taken from Talmudic tractates, although often with different meanings than the
Israel also has religious courts and judges, such as Jewish Rabbinical Courts, Moslem Shar'ia Courts,
and Druze Tribal Councils, although these generally have the legal status of voluntary arbitrators.
One area where secular and religious courts overlap is that of Marriage and Divorce.
There is no civil marriage in Israel, so couples must be wedded by a religious authority, even though
the civil courts cover alimony payments and many other areas of family law.