Senior Judge's Priorities

Joseph Drori

The article reviews the behavior and legal activity of Burhan al-Din ibn Jamaah, a Jerusalem preacher and judge from a noble Arab family, who was twice (in 1371 and 1379) called upon to officiate as Chief Justice of Egypt. Ibn Jamaahs bold and independent stance vis-a-vis the Mamluk regime earned him public popularity but diminshed his chances to serve the unyielding rulers, who preferred obedient and submissive judges. The article describes the issues with which the judges dealt in the Mamluk period, their level of commitment, and the rulers expectations from their appointees.