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Modes of Cooperation in the Colonial Legal Field: The Case of Mandatory Palestine

28 Pages Posted: 5 May 2008 Last revised: 18 Aug 2008

Nir Kedar

Bar-Ilan University

Uri Cohen

Tel Aviv University

Date Written: May 2008


The aim of this article is to describe the complex mosaic of interests, values, and relationships in the colonial legal field and their manifestations in the law and legal education system. After presenting four modes of legal interaction between the "natives" and colonizer and within the local population, we trace the Jewish population's fruitless efforts to preserve its national-cultural identity and a relative degree of legal autonomy while at the same time cooperating with the British colonial regime in Palestine.

Our discussion focuses on legal education in Mandatory Palestine, taking the Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics (TASLE), which was established in 1935, as a case study. TASLE's failure to obtain official recognition from the British reveals a fascinating, multi-layered picture of the legal-academic field in Mandatory Palestine. While the local Jewish elite generally supported TASLE's national-cultural ideas regarding the integration of Jewish and modern law, conflicting institutional, political, legal, and academic interests drove it to cooperate with the colonizer in opposing the school's initiative.

Keywords: Legal History, Legal Education, Law and Society, Law and Colonialism

Suggested Citation

Kedar, Nir and Cohen, Uri, Modes of Cooperation in the Colonial Legal Field: The Case of Mandatory Palestine (May 2008). Bar Ilan Univ. Pub Law Working Paper No. 08-04. Available at SSRN: or

Nir Kedar (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University ( email )

Faculty of Law
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat Gan, 52900
++972 3 531 7097 (Phone)
++972 3 738 4044 (Fax)


Uri Cohen

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801

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