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Judges and Political Reform in Egypt$
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Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162015

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162015.001.0001

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The Political Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court: Between Principles and Practice

The Political Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court: Between Principles and Practice

Chapter:
(p.91) 6 The Political Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court: Between Principles and Practice
Source:
Judges and Political Reform in Egypt
Author(s):

Tamir Moustafa

Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774162015.003.0007

This chapter adopts an explicitly political analysis of the jurisprudence of Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), rather than an analysis that is strictly legal in orientation. It also moves beyond a framework that examines the political role of the court in constraining the government in isolation from other political actors. It proceeds in four steps. First, it briefly reviews some of the celebrated rulings that the SCC has issued over the past twenty-five years in order to demonstrate the positive role the court has played. Second, it examines the limits of the SCC's ability to protect basic rights by looking at the hard cases of state security courts and military courts. Third, it examines government efforts to undermine the independence of the court. Finally, it sums up the most important elements of the Egyptian political context that undermine the court's ability to bring government practices fully in line with constitutional principles.

Keywords:   political analysis, Supreme Constitutional Court, security courts, military courts, Egyptian political context

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