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An Overview of the Egyptian Legal System and Legal Research

[Building of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Cairo.] [Building of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Cairo.]

The Arab Republic of Egypt lies in the northeastern part of Africa. Whilst most of the country is located 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. While Cairo is the largest city and the capital of Egypt, Alexandria, the second largest city, remains the principal port of Egypt on the Mediterranean. 

With an area of more than one million square kilometers (1,001,450 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 Mediterranean Sea, and to the east is the Red Sea.

Egypt is the sixteenth most populous country in the world with a population of approx. 85,000,000 people, according to the July 2011 Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook estimate. Unsurprisingly, most of the population is concentrated near the banks of the Nile River, which amounts to about 40,000 sq. km, leaving about 961,450 sq. km uninhabited. This is due to the fact that the land near the banks of the Nile is the only arable agricultural land in Egypt. However, there are ongoing efforts toward expansion of urban development and populating the desert in order to reduce the heavy concentration of the population along the Nile.      

Egypt has been a coherent political entity since 3200 B.C. and was one of the first civilizations to develop irrigated agriculture, urban life, and large-scale political structures.

On the muddy banks of the Nile, the oldest political and administrative systems were established along with Egypt’s first central state. These systems have come a long way, and are now used in the modern institutions and administrative systems, and have also been used in the formulation of the constitution, parliament, responsible government and judicial authority since the 19th century. At the present time, Egypt is making history again by creating a new phase of economic development and reform, ascertaining political and democratic authority and practices, enhancing freedoms and adhering to the rule of law, and respecting human rights.   

Table of Contents

1.     Introduction
2.     The Egyptian Legal System
3.     The Executive Power
3.1  The President
3.2  Cabinet
3.3  Ministries
4.     The Legislative Power: Parliament
4.1   People's Assembly
4.2  Jurisdiction
4.3  Bodies
4.4  Committees
5      Shura Council
5.1  Term of Membership and Activities
6      The Judicial Power
6.1  Court System
6.2  The Supreme Constitutional Court
6.3  Court of Cassation
6.4  Court of Appeal
6.5  Court of First Instance
6.6  Family Court
6.7  New Economic Courts
6.8  Egyptian State Lawsuits Authority
6.9  Public Prosecution
6.10        Administrative Courts (State Council)
7      Courts Jurisdiction
8      Arbitration
9      Enforcement of Judgments and Appeal
10    Enforcement of Arbitral Awards
11    Primary materials
12    Political Parties
13    Notable Parties
14    Governorates
15    Official Websites
16    Inter-Governmental Organizations
17    Law Faculties (Public Universities)
18    Important Libraries
19    Legal Guide

[This piece and the remaining table of contents originally available at NYU GlobaLex]

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