cRc Beth Din

cRc Beth Din News

Are cases decided based on halacha (Jewish law) or secular law?

Friday, August 9, 2019

Cases at the Beth Din  are decided based on Jewish law, although there are many instances when Jewish law calls for the application of secular law to a case. In deciding a dispute arising under a contract that contains a “choice of law” provision, the Beth Din will respect that provision and apply secular law, except to the extent it runs afoul of a specific Jewish law prohibition (such as the collection of prohibited forms of interest). Even without a written choice of law provision, the Beth Din will apply secular law if it is clear, based on the circumstances and the context of their business dealings, that the parties intended for their transactions to be governed by secular law.

In some cases, such as certain bankruptcy matters, the Beth Din will apply secular law under the Jewish law principal of Dina D’Malchusa Dina (the law of the land is the law) even absent an intent of the parties for secular law to govern their dealings.