Israel's First Muslim Law Professor


Qadi (Judge) Ahmad Natour, who served for two decades on Israel's Sharia Court of Appeals, has been appointed an Associate Professor at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Law. Ahmad Natour thus becomes the first Muslim law professor in Israel.

 From the Spring 2014 semester, Professor Natour will teach courses on Muslim law and conduct research at the Faculty. He will explore issues such as the status of women in Israel and the Arab world, the status of the Arab minority in Israel, laws of war and peace from a religious perspective and class, and the position and status of the Sharia judicial system in Israel.

 While serving as a Qadi (1985-2013) and President of the Sharia Court of Appeals (1994-2013), Natour made a significant contribution to the development of Sharia law in Israel and to its liberalization, especially in relation to the protection of the rights of women. Professor Natour, 60, holds academic degrees from The Hebrew University (BA in Arab Language, Literature and Islamic and Middle-Eastern Studies; MA in Communication and Mass Media); Tel Aviv University (LLB and LLM in Law); and American University in Washington, DC (SJD in Law).

 Professor Yuval Shany, dean of The Hebrew University's Faculty of Law, said: "The faculty appointments committee, professional committees and university management were highly impressed with the professional and academic work of Qadi Natour over the years. We are confident that he will make a significant contribution to research and teaching at the Faculty, and will expose our students to a legal world they have not encountered thus far."

 Professor Natour added: "I am excited to join the Faculty of Law at The Hebrew University. After working for many years in the practice and application of the law, I am eager to engage in research and teaching, with the hope that I can contribute to advancing the field. We live in the Middle East and so I believe that ultimately it is important for Israeli law students to become acquainted with how law is practiced and applied in the Arab world."

 Established in 1949, The Hebrew University's Faculty of Law is the oldest law school in Israel and the alma mater of most Justices on the Supreme Court of Israel. Its alumni are many of Israel's most prominent legal academics, Attorneys-General, senior government officials and representatives and practicing lawyers. The Faculty has established a variety of legal and interdisciplinary research forums, including the Sacher Institute for Comparative Law and Legislative Research, the Barak Center for Interdisciplinary Research, the I-Core Empirical Legal Research Center, the Matz Institute for Jewish Law, and the Minerva Center for Human Rights. The Faculty of Law is also home to The Hebrew University’s Institute of Criminology.