Upon attaining independence (1948), Israel passed the Law and Administration Ordinance, stipulating that laws prevailing in the country prior to statehood would remain in force insofar as they did not contradict the principles embodied in the Proclamation of the Establishment of the State of Israel or would not conflict with laws to be enacted by the Knesset. Thus the legal system includes remnants of Ottoman law (in force until 1917), British Mandate laws, which incorporate a large body of English common law, elements of Jewish religious law, and some aspects of other systems.
However, the prevailing characteristic of the legal system is the large corpus of independent statutory and case law which has been evolving since 1948. Following the establishment of the state, the Knesset was empowered to enact a series of Basic Laws, relating to all aspects of life, which will eventually be brought together to form a constitution. Many Basic Laws have been passed, outlining the fundamental features of government such as the President, the Knesset, the Government, the Judiciary, the Israel Defense Forces, the State Comptroller, Freedom of Occupation and Human Dignity and Liberty (which addresses violation of a person’s life, body or dignity).