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In 1980 Article 2 of the Constitution was amended to read that “Islamic jurisprudence is the principal source of legislation.”  However, the majority of Egyptian Law is based on civil law.   The exception to this being family law, for the Muslim population is based on the Sharia. Article 2 of the Constitution of 1971 reads that Islam is the State religion.
The dominant school of Islamic Law is Hanafi.  The Egyptian Civil Code 131 of 1948 allows recourse to Hanafi doctrine where a matter is not legislated on. However, Egypt has adopted a flexible approach and incorporated the jurisprudence of the other orthodox schools into the family laws, especially doctrines from the Maliki School, that provide flexibility to the traditional law. While Egypt has a majority Muslim population there is a significant Christian minority, which is permitted to apply its own family laws.

Available Information

•    reunite’s Summary Text for Egypt

Legal Texts

•    Constitution 1980

•    Civil Code No.131 of 1948

•    Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt Regarding Cooperation on Protecting The welfare of Children, October 2000.

•    Judicial Agreement Between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Arab republic of Egypt Regarding Co-operation in Civil and Personal Status Matters, 1996.

•    Convention Between the French Republic and the Arab Republic of Egypt on Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters, Including Personal Status, And in Social Commercial and Administrative Matters, 1983.  

•    Law No. 26/1975 Concerning Egyptian Nationality

•    Law No. 154/2004 Amending Certain Provisions of Law No.26/1975 Concerning Egyptian Nationality

•    Ministerial Decree No.12025/2004 Concerning Certain Provisions Enforcing Law No.154 of 2004 On Amendment of Certain Provisions of Law No.26 of 1975 Concerning Egyptian Nationality

•    Decree No.117 /1975 Concerning Certain Provisions Effectuating the Law No.26 /1975 Regarding Egyptian Nationality

•    Egyptian Penal Code (extract)

•    Law No. 10 of 2004 Promulgating the Law on Establishment of the Family Courts

•    Prime Minister’s Decree No. 3452/1997 Promulgating the Executive Statues of the Child Law

•    Law No. 12 of 1996 the Child Law

•    Law No. 11 of 2004 Establishing the Family Insurance System Fund

•    Decree Law No. 25/1929 Concerning Certain Personal Status Provisions As Amended by Law 100/1985

•    Law No. 25 of 1920 Concerning The Provisions of Alimony and some Personal Status Issues As Amended by Law 100/1985

•    Law No.4 of 2005 Amending Article 20 of the Decree law No. 25 of 1929 Concerning The Provisions Related to Alimony and Certain Provisions Related to Personal Status Matters

•    Law No. 1 of 2000 Promulgating the Procedural Personal Status Law


•    Convention on the Rights of the Child Report 1998

•    Anglo-Egyptian Conference Outcome, January 2004



•    Article, Law 100 of 1985, Amending Certain Provisions of Egypt’s Personal Status Laws, Dawoud S. El Alami, Islamic Law and Society 1,1, 1994

•    Hill, E., Mahkama! Studies in the Egyptian Legal System, Ithaca Press,  London, 1979.  (Extract).

•    Egyptians Seek Right to Travel Without Male OK, Heather Bourbeau, Women’s e News, 04/16/2001.

•    Extract from, Dawoud Sudqi El Alami, The Marriage Contract in Islamic Law in the Shari´ah and Personal Status Laws of Egypt and Morocco 2 (1992).  

•    Extract Concerning personal Status of Egyptian Christians, Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, Volume 8, 2001-2002, p. 129-130.

•    Summary of Family Law (Emory Project)

•    Summary of the Judiciary (POGAR)

•    Summary of the Judiciary (Info-Prod Research)

•    Summary of the Judicial System (US State Department)

•    Summary International Parental Child Abduction (US State Department)

•    Summary of Judicial Structures, Nathan J. Brown