Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 26, 2017

A Call for Judicial Reform in Egypt

Shams Al Din Al Hajjaji
From the journal ICL Journal


The social contract in Egypt has changed dramatically five times in the past decade. Mubarak made substantial amendments in 2005 and 2007, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ratified the 2011 Constitutional Declaration, the Muslim Brotherhood adopted the 2012 Constitution and, finally, Al-Sisi/Mansur proclaimed the 2014 Constitution. Currently, Egypt faces social, economic, political and legal problems. The Egyptian judiciary plays a vital role in the inability to respond to these problems. This research argues that the call for judicial reform should be revived to face contemporary challenges. These challenges are the result of the absence of serious judicial reform in the past four decades. The 1973 Judicial Authority Law was a result of the social contract presented in the 1971 Constitution. The research lists the reasons for adopting a new judicial authority law. In the first section, the social aspect is embodied in the protection of freedoms, judicial transparency and judicial legitimacy. The second section dealing with economic reasons for reform is divided into two parts. The first deals with Independent Bodies and Regulatory Agencies. The second issue reveals the role of the judiciary in the successive failures of the IBRA. The third section deals with the role of the judiciary in political life. The fourth section presents the legal reasons for judicial reform.


The author wishes to extend his deep gratitude and appreciation to Laurent Mayali, Mark Bevir, and Luc Heuschling for their constructive comments, and Claire Weyland, Claudia Fuchs, Christoph Bezemek, and Harald Eberhard for her helpful edits, and my wife for her continuous help and support. The final draft of this paper was presented at the Colloquium on Institutional Preconditions for Effective and Inclusive Governance in the Arab World in Tunisia (April 2016). I wish to thank Ebrahim Afsah and Cornelius Wiesener (Faculty of Law – University of Copenhagen), Neila Chaabane (University of Carthage, Tunisia), and Hanns Seidel Foundation for the opportunity to present at the Colloquium.

Published Online: 2017-7-26
Published in Print: 2017-7-26

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston