Civil Jewish Jurisdiction in the Days of Emperor Justinian (527-565): Codex Justinianus 1.9.8.
33 Isr. L. Rev. 51 (1999)
16 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 27, 2015
The extent to which the Roman government which had conquered the Land of Israel (Palaestina) as well as large areas outside of it (collectively termed the Roman Empire) permitted Jewish courts to rule in matters regarding Jews is a question which has attracted relatively little attention. In his fundamental book Les Juifs dans l'Empire Romain the renowned scholar Jean Juster sums up the situation of the Jewish judiciary as such: "After the fall of Jerusalem, the Jews continued to bring their cases not only before Jewish judges (whom it was possible to define as arbiters) but even before actual Jewish courts authorized to judge according to Jewish law and granted authority to do so by the Romans. The Jewish court received the status of a regular court the moment one of the Jewish sides submitted a claim to it, thereby effectively preventing the submission of the case to a rival non Jewish court. The Jewish court thus received the authority to summon the defendant, to force him to appear, and to ensure that its rulings would be enforced. Its rulings would be recognized by the Roman authorities as coming from legitimate judicial authority."
Keywords: Roman Empire, Palaestina, Jewish, Jean Juster, Jerusalem, court
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