*This article is part of a series of articles dealing with the structure of Hezbollah in general with the various councils and the executive council on its various civilian entities in particular (see introduction here)
The Judicial Council is, in fact, a Shiite tribunal network. The council’s role is to judge and arbitrate according to the principles of Sharia law among the Shiite population and in times of internal conflict or violation of Hezbollah’s internal laws by its operatives.
The council is headed by Mohammad Yazbek, who was born in 1950 and is considered one of Hezbollah’s founders. He served Hezbollah as a senior military and economic figure before taking on this position.
Council tribunals can impose fines, prison incarceration, and even death sentences. The tribunals operate mainly in areas with a large Shiite population encompassing many of Hezbollah’s activities: Beirut, the Beqaa, and southern Lebanon. The tribunal network consists of municipal courts, regional courts, and a Supreme Court headed by a Qadi (an Islamic judge) appointed by the Shura Council.
A good example of an interesting ruling is the issuing of a prohibition order from January 2020 on Hezbollah members to eat at a restaurant called “Marjouha,” which has two branches. One branch in Tyre and a second in Hadath (a suburb of Beirut). The prohibition order stems from a dispute between the restaurant owner and Jawad Nasrallah (Hassan Nasrallah’s son) regarding the display of photos of Qassem Soleimani in the restaurant after his assassination. As in many other areas, Hezbollah established a parallel and independent judicial system. Hezbollah’s parallel and independent activity in this area goes beyond its authority and may in some way undermines the legitimacy of the Lebanese state’s courts.