“In the Name of the People?” Understanding the Role of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court in Times of Political Crisis

In: Middle East Law and Governance
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  • 1 Birzeit University, Faculty of Law and Public Administration, Ramallah
  • 2 Birzeit University, Faculty of Law and Public Administration, Ramallah

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Abstract

Constitutional transformations frequently introduce and open up political spaces for new actors, as was shown during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ when national movements emerged to demand the removal of long-established authoritarian regimes and instigated a series of institutional power struggles. Subsequent analysis of these events by academics has tended to overlook struggle conducted through and by legal institutions. This article directly addresses this oversight by considering the role of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court (scc) in the 2011 uprisings, with specific attention to its influence on the country’s political transformation/s. It seeks to apply new analytical tools that will assist understanding of the position of judicial institutions in the Arab world, their institutional limits and expected functions. It demonstrates how this can be achieved through a closer analysis of the scc’s structure and the factors that shape its current role.