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Legal history of Egypt

Introduction :

The Arab Republic of Egypt (Egypt) lies in the northeastern part of Africa. Whilst most of the country lies in Africa, the easternmost part, the Sinai Peninsula, is considered part of Asia and is the only land bridge between the two continents. Egypt is divided into two unequal parts by the Nile River, and its terrain is mostly desert except for the Valley and Delta of the Nile, the most extensive oasis on earth, and one of the main centers of habitation in Egypt. Whilst Cairo is the largest city and the capital of Egypt, Alexandria remains the principal port of Egypt on the Mediterranean and the second biggest city.

With an area of more than one million square kilometers (1001450 sq km), Egypt prides itself in having extensive borders: to the west is Libya, to the south is Sudan, to the northeast are Israel and the Gaza strip, to the north is the Mediterranean Sea, and to the east is the Red Sea.

The Egyptian Legal System :

The Egyptian legal system is built on the combination of Islamic (Shariah) law and Napoleonic Code, which was first introduced during Napoleon Bonaparte’s occupation of Egypt and the subsequent education and training of Egyptian jurists in France.

The Egyptian legal system, being considered as a civil law system, is based upon a well-established system of codified laws. Egypt’s supreme law is its written constitution. With respect to transactions between natural persons or legal entities, the most important legislation is the Egyptian Civil Code of 1948 (the “ECC”) which remains the main source of legal rules applicable to contracts. Much of the ECC is based upon the French Civil Code and, to a lesser extent, upon various other European codes and upon Islamic (Shariah) law (especially in the context of personal status).

The Executive Power :

• The President
• Requirements to Hold Office
• Term(s) of Office
• Cabinet

Traditionally, the Cabinet comprises :

• The Prime Minister
• Ministers
• Ministers of State
• Ministers without portfolio
• Chairmen of Departments
• Ministers-Delegate

The Legislative Power: Parliament

The Parliament of Egypt is geographically located in Cairo. As the legislative authority, it has the power to enact laws, approve the general policy of the State, the general plan for economic and social development and the general budget of the State, supervise the work of the government, ratify international conventions, and the power to vote to impeach the President of the Republic or replace the government and its Prime Minister in a vote of no-confidence.

The Parliament is a bicameral legislature which means it has two chambers or legislative houses. The present-day Constitution states the Parliaments two chambers be the following:

• The People’s Assembly, a 454-member lower house.
• The Shura Council, a 264-member upper house.

Every year, the Parliament meets for one nine-month session, but under special conditions, the President may call another session. It is argued that the Parliament’s powers have increased since the 1980’s Amendments of the Constitution.

People’s Assembly

• Jurisdiction
• Bodies
• Committees

Shura Council

• Conditions of Candidature
• Term of Membership and Activities

The Judicial Power 

• Court System
• The Supreme Constitutional Court
• Court of Cassation
• Court of Appeal
Court of First Instance
• Family Court
• Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority
• Public Prosecution
• Administrative Courts (State Council)


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