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Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Though its constitution had already been amended in 2005, Egypt went through a new constitutional revision in 2007. The amendments were officially justified by the need to modernize the constitution, and to reestablish a balance between the state powers. Through an analysis of the request presented by President Mubarak, and of the text of the amendments, of the counter proposals presented by opposition and civil society groups, of articles published in governmental and independent newspapers, this article will examine the content of the constitutional amendments of 2005 and 2007. If some revisions, aiming at diminishing the presidential nature of the regime, and increasing its parliamentary dimension, were generally well received, other amendments were often perceived as reinforcing the authoritarian character of the regime.

Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Abstract

In June 2008, the 1938 Personal Status Regulations for the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt were amended to limit the grounds for divorce to adultery and change of religion. This revision followed a ruling of the State Council requiring Pope Shenouda III, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to grant a divorced Orthodox Copt a license to remarry. The amendments ended a long-standing conflict between the Egyptian national courts and the Coptic Orthodox Church regarding the effects of judicial divorce: prior to the revision, thousands of couples divorced before the courts were considered by the Church to be still married. However, by restricting the possibilities for Orthodox Copts to obtain a divorce, the 2008 amendments may lead to an increase in conversions to other religious faiths to escape application of the revised 1938 regulations. In this essay, I analyze the 2008 amendments, the State Council ruling, landmark decisions of the Court of Cassation, comments by legal scholars and articles in newspapers, in an effort to assess the current status of divorce and remarriage among Orthodox Copts in Egypt and the problems generated by the application of conflicts rules between non-Muslim personal status laws in case of inter-religious marriages. At the end of the essay, I mention developments that took place in June 2010 after the release of a new ruling by the State Council.

Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

This article will focus on the constitutional and legal developments that have taken place in Egypt since February 11, 2011, the date Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down, to show that behind technical and theoretical issues lay fundamental political challenges. It will start with a general chronological analysis of the developments, before focusing on the debate around the sequence of institutional events, and on the criticisms addressed to the army. It will conclude with an analysis of the major challenges that the country will face in drafting a new constitution.

Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Abstract

La liberté religieuse peine à s’imposer dans le monde musulman où elle se heurte à l’incrimination de l’apostasie et aux restrictions imposées au culte des non-musulmans. Les sources religieuses sont pourtant ambiguës, tant en ce qui concerne l’apostasie que le statut juridique des non-musulmans et ont donné lieu à diverses interprétations. Cette contribution s’intéresse au statut juridique de la liberté religieuse dans les pays arabes en étudiant les engagements souscrits au niveau international ainsi que la protection de cette liberté dans les textes constitutionnels. Un accent particulier est mis sur l’incrimination de l’apostasie et la liberté de changer de religion. L’analyse de la jurisprudence du Conseil d’Etat égyptien relative à des requêtes en changement de religion sur des cartes d’identité permettra d’illustrer le recours par le juge administratif à l’islam comme constituant de l’ordre public pour poser des limites à la liberté religieuse.

Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron and Baudouin Dupret

Abstract

If the legal status of women wishing to end an unhappy marriage has undoubtedly improved through the codification process of personal status law in Egypt in the twentieth century, it still remains very unequal in comparison to the privileges enjoyed by men in that field. Moreover, the practical effects of these legal reforms can be questioned. This chapter will study marriage breakups in Egypt through both legal and sociological approaches. Legal texts governing family law will first be examined to expose the different ways marriage can be broken up and how the reforms were legitimated by reference to sharî'a principles. Then the various obstacles that impede the effective implementation of these reforms will be exposed, to stress that the study of law should capture the language of law in action and not only of law in books.

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Edited by Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron and Badouin Dupret

Egyptian law is the main representative of the Arab civil-law family and its influence largely extends beyond its national borders. Foreign elements have mixed with Egyptian legacies to build up a new and original legal system. Egypt and its Laws is the first book in a Western language to present in a comprehensive, systematic and concise way comtemporary Egyptian law, case law and judicial organization. Egyptian law professionals - law faculty professor, high rank magistrates, attorneys have contributed to this project by outlining each branch of law or judicial order in a synthetic way. This includes: constitutional law, administrative law, civil law, personal status law, criminal law, commercial law, company law, tax law, labor and social law, land law, press law, procedural law, commercial arbitration, public and private international law as well as civil, criminal, administrative and constitutional adjudication. These contributions are preceded by a substantial introduction and followed by an English-Arabic glossary, an index, and tables of cited laws and cases.