Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2001658
 


 



A Brief History of Coptic Personal Status Law


Ryan Rowberry


Georgia State University - College of Law

John Khalil


affiliation not provided to SSRN

2010

Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 81, 2010
Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-03

Abstract:     
Coptic Christians comprise the largest non-Muslim population in Egypt (12-17% of Egypt’s total population). For over a millennium, the Coptic Church has administered and adjudicated personal status matters (i.e., family law) for its members using Biblically-based principles that are vastly different from those of Shari’a Law. The Egyptian government, however, has advocated for a universal right of divorce for all Egyptians modeled on Shari’a Law, a development that would significantly impact Coptic Personal Status Law.

Using interviews conducted with Coptic bishops, priests, and parishioners in Egypt, along with primary and secondary sources, this article traces the development of Coptic Personal Status Law from its origins to the present day. Particularly noteworthy is the examination of the Bill of Personal Affairs for Copts, the current code governing Coptic Personal Status Law. The authors conclude that the establishment of a universal right of divorce in Egypt is incompatible with Coptic laws designed to protect the inviolability of divine, sacramental marriage and will significantly undermine the Coptic Church’s jurisdiction and authority.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 60

Keywords: Copt, Coptic, Family Law, Egypt, Personal Status Law, Coptic Church, Shari'a Law, Egyptian Law, Pope Shenouda, Foreign Law

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K33, K39

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: February 10, 2012 ; Last revised: February 14, 2012

Suggested Citation

Rowberry, Ryan and Khalil, John, A Brief History of Coptic Personal Status Law (2010). Berkeley Journal of Middle Eastern & Islamic Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, p. 81, 2010; Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-03. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2001658

Contact Information

Ryan Max Rowberry (Contact Author)
Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States
John Khalil
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


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