Special Courts (1 judge)
Traffic, labor, juvenile, military and municipal courts, with clearly defined jurisdiction; administrative tribunals.
Religious Courts (1 or 3 judges)
Jurisdiction in matters of personal status (marriage, divorce, maintenance, guardianship, adoption) vested in judicial institutions of the respective religious communities: Jewish rabbinical courts, Muslim sharia courts, Druze religious courts, ecclesiastical courts of the ten recognized Christian communities in Israel.
Magistrates’ Court (1 judge)
Civil and minor criminal offenses; jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases.
District Court (1 or 3 judges)
Appellate jurisdiction over magistrates’ courts; original jurisdiction in more important civil and criminal cases.
Supreme Court (1, 3, 5 or a larger uneven number of judges)
Ultimate appellate jurisdiction nationwide; right to address issues when necessary to intervene for the sake of justice; authority to release persons illegally detained or imprisoned; sitting as a High Court of Justice, hears petitions against any government body or agent and is the court of first and last instance.
President Shimon Peres with justices of the Supreme Court - 28 Feb 2012 (Photo: GPO)