Egypt’s legal modernity is the story of the modern Egyptian state itself. Reforming the country’s judiciary in the late nineteenth century was meant to achieve ambitious aims beyond the functionality of a justice system. The utmost goal was the country’s independence from the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. The judicial reforms modernized the Egyptian state and built a judiciary and legal community like no other place. Egypt achieved its independent judiciary before gaining its political independence. That was a remarkable achievement of the judicial reform. That rich part of Egypt’s modern history is negated and disregarded from public awareness. Not even law students in Egypt study their modern legal history, which spans 150 years! The oblivion and distortion of Egypt’s collective conscience have resulted from the post-1952 rhetoric following the abolishment of the monarchy and, more substantially, the Islamization of the country since then. This paper challenges the national discourse regarding the tale of Egypt’s legal modernism and investigates the effect of the identity crisis that has plagued post-colonial Egypt.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date

Spring 5-30-2024

Submission Date


First Advisor

Hani Sayed

Committee Member 1

Nesrine Badawi

Committee Member 2

Jason Beckett


90 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item