Of Law and the Revolution

Lama Abu-Odeh

Georgetown University Law Center


University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 34, pp. 341-363 , 2013
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-129

The Egyptian revolution is proving to be a very legal one. That is not to say that the revolution’s demands have been legalized, nor that Egypt’s law has been revolutionized, rather, the forces that have come to the fore since the toppling of Mubarak in Feb 2011 have chosen law as the privileged form through which to bargain with each other. The density of the legal back and fro has been overwhelming: constitutional amendments, constitutional supplementary declarations, parliamentary laws, legislative amendments, military decrees, court trials, constitutional court decisions overturning laws passed, conflicting decisions from various courts, presidential decrees, emergency laws annulled and then reclaimed in another form; in fact so much so, that to trace the historical unfolding of the Egyptian revolution, one would be wise to use the Gazette and law reports as one’s primary guide through the maze of events. It is hard to miss the fact that in the case of Egypt, no sooner the public space opened up for the political as an autonomous sphere – one that is only possible through genuine democratic practice – than that sphere became annexed by the legal.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: revolution, international law, Egyptian Revolution, rule of law, judiciary, democracy, politics

JEL Classification: K30, K33, K39

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Date posted: September 6, 2012 ; Last revised: August 17, 2013

Suggested Citation

Abu-Odeh, Lama, Of Law and the Revolution (2013). University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, Vol. 34, pp. 341-363 , 2013; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-129. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2142545

Contact Information

Lama Abu-Odeh (Contact Author)
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
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