The Evolution of the Legal System in Egypt 

From MENA to the WORLD

The legal system of Egypt has evolved throughout history, adapting to societal changes, and incorporating influences from various legal traditions. From the ancient pharaonic laws to modern constitutional reforms, Egypt’s legal system reflects a blend of ancient heritage, Islamic principles, and modern legal concepts. Egypt’s legal framework has evolved significantly over time.  

The origins of Egypt’s legal system can be traced back to ancient times when pharaonic laws governed the land. These laws, inscribed on monuments and papyrus scrolls, regulated various aspects of society. With the advent of Islam in the 7th century, Egypt witnessed the infusion of Islamic legal principles, particularly Sharia law, which continues to play a prominent role in the country’s legal system to this day. 

In the early 19th century, Egypt experienced an era of modernization and reform. Influenced by European legal systems, several introduced reforms were aimed at modernizing Egypt’s legal framework. The Napoleonic Code and elements of French law were incorporated, leading to the emergence of a civil law system alongside Islamic law. During this period, courts were established, and legal education institutions were founded, laying the foundation for the professionalization of the legal field. 

With Egypt’s independence in 1952, the legal system underwent further changes to reflect the country’s national identity and aspirations. The 1971 Egyptian Constitution provided a framework for the legal system, establishing the principles of constitutional supremacy, separation of powers, and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. This era witnessed the establishment of specialized courts and the expansion of legal education institutions to meet the growing demand for legal professionals. 

In recent years, Egypt has undertaken significant constitutional reforms to strengthen the rule of law and protect individual rights. The 2012 Constitution, together with the 2014 Constitution and its modifications, reaffirmed the principles of democracy., equality, and the independence of the judiciary. Efforts have been made to enhance judicial independence and streamline court procedures, aiming to promote transparency, fairness, and access to justice for all. 

Looking ahead, Egypt’s legal system faces both opportunities and challenges. The ongoing digital transformation presents an avenue for modernization, including the introduction of e-filing systems and online dispute resolution mechanisms. Efforts to attract foreign investment and promote economic development require a robust legal framework that ensures legal certainty and protects investors’ rights. Furthermore, promoting legal education, strengthening the rule of law, and addressing issues of access to justice will be crucial for the system’s continued evolution. 

As Egypt continues on its path of development, the legal system will play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s future, ensuring justice, equality, and the protection of individual rights. 

For the complete series click here