This article investigates gender implications of judicial activism within the context of the 2011 revolution. Relying on analysis of a sample of judicial decisions in the field of divorce and child-rearing, I argue that individual judges used the family courts as a platform to articulate alternative legal discourses prior to the 2011 revolution. During the period between February 2011 and the military coup in July 2013 family legislation emerged as a controversial point. The period witnessed the mobilisation of small but vocal fathers’ rights groups that called for a revolution in Egyptian family law and formed strategic alliances with a handful of judges. The latter became members of a legislative committee formed under the presidency of Muhammad Mursi. I investigate the gender implications of their activism against a background where old and new actors and institutions competed over the right to interpret shari’a in an authoritative way.