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Is It Possible to Overrule a Constitutional Precedent in the Egyptian Legal System?

In: Arab Law Quarterly
Authors:
Islam Ibrahim Chiha Assistant Professor of Public Law, College of Law, Qatar University Doha Qatar

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3474-8645
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Abdel Hafiz el-Shimy Associate Professor of Public Law, College of Law, Qatar University Doha Qatar

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Abstract

This article examines the constitutionality of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court’s (hereinafter SCC) authority to overrule its prior precedents. The authors argue, contrary to the assertions of the predominant conservative approach in Egypt, that bestowing the SCC with such an overruling power neither violates the Constitution nor undermines fundamental legal principles such as the principles of equality, legal certainty, or the justified expectations of litigants. Indeed, we make the argument that the Court’s ability to overrule its prior precedents seems to be the most conceivable and plausible way to correct the Court’s past mistakes or inaccuracies. We finally claim that endowing the court with such overruling power enhances the constitutional protection of fundamental rights and freedoms and strengthens the Court’s credibility not only via other public authorities, but also via public opinion.

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