The Judge

Erika Cohn, PS/US, 2017
81 min., OmeU
Filmscreening samt Q&A
The documentary “The Judge” follows the story of Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih in her career as a judge in the Sharia Court of Ramallah. As the first woman judge appointed to a Sharia Court in Palestine, Judge Al-Faqih has defied convention and paved the way for future female judges. The documentary describes her journey, as well as her quest for equality in the judiciary. This includes her commitment to equality when deciding family court cases on issues that disproportionately affect the lives of women, such as domestic violence.
When she was a young lawyer, Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench. He laughed at her. But just a few years later, Kholoud became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts. THE JUDGE offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud—her brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. With unparalleled access to the courts, THE JUDGE presents an unfolding vérité legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine—custody of children, divorce, abuse—while offering an unvarnished look at life for women and Shari’a.


Erika Cohn - Producer and Director, “The Judge”
Adisa Zahiragic -  President, Association of Women Judges of Bosnia and Herzegovina, International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ)
Tatiana Balisova -  Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Sonja Wintersberger – Deputy to the Director, United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, Moderator