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

Tamir Moustafa

in Judges and Political Reform in Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162015
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781617970993 | DOI:
The Political Role of the Supreme Constitutional Court: Between Principles and Practice

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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

Chapter.  7551 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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