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Privy Council, Highest Court in England, Annuls Ruling of Palestine Supreme Court in Jerusalem Water

February 17, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The Privy Council, the highest court in England, annulled the judgment of the Palestine Supreme Court in the Jerusalem-Urtas water dispute.

Judgment, which was handed down by the judicial committee of the Privy Council, permitted the governor of Jerusalem to appeal against the Urtas water commission ruling by the Palestine Supreme Court. The Privy Council declared that an ordinance of the Palestine Supreme Council can set aside the ruling of the Supreme Court. The Urtas villagers’ petition was dismissed and the respondents have to pay the cost of the proceedings, including the cost of the appeal.

The Lord Chancellor in handing down the judgment declared that the interpretation of the Palestine Supreme Court of Article II of the mandate is not justified. “If all civil rights of every inhabitant existing at the date of the mandate would be enforced, nothing in Palestine would be altered as long as the mandate is in force and effective legislature would be impossible,” he declared.

The Jerusalem Urtas dispute arose out of the water shortage in Jerusalem last year when the city government drew water from the Urtas wells. The Urtas villagers, at the instigation of the Palestine Arab Executive, protested against this ordinance, on the grounds that this was a violation of Article II of the mandate, which provides that the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants irrespective of race and religion are to be safeguarded. The Palestine Supreme Court ruled that the governor’s ordinance was a violation of Article II of the mandate.

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