Approaching Rule of Law in Post-Revolution Egypt: Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We Should Be

Ahmed Eldakak
Vol. 18
February 2013
Page 261

Partial absence of rule of law was a central reason for the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, and the Revolution provides a golden opportunity to establish full rule of law in Egypt. Using a substantive approach to interpreting the rule of law doctrine, this Article analyzes the aspects of absence of rule of law before the Revolution. The former regime disregarded the rule of law by amending the Constitution to promote the rule of the president, issuing laws that served the interests of the president’s entourage, not enforcing judicial decisions, restricting freedom of speech, and concentrating the power in the hands of the president through the disreputable emergency law.

The period following the Revolution witnessed an increasing trend toward respecting the rule of law, through changes such as enforcement of judicial decisions, trying the former president and his entourage before courts of law, and increased promotion of freedom of expression. However, several serious obstacles to promoting rule of law remain after the Revolution: the current constitutional mess, the state of emergency, and the military trials for civilians. Ultimately, this Article seeks to provide a roadmap to establishing full rule of law in Egypt, recommending the drafting of a new Constitution that represents all political currents and elements of the society, lifting the state of emergency, eliminating military trials for civilians, and retrying convicted people before their natural judges.

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