Ali Moussa


The thesis explores the path of ratified human rights treaties in the Egyptian legal system. Although these treaties have the force of law, as mandated by the constitution, the examination of court practice in Egypt shows plenty of cases where the ratified treaties have been judicially discarded due to the conflict with domestic laws or the inconsistency with the rulings of Shari’a law. The thesis examines the judicial phenomenon of overthrowing ratified human rights treaties under the Egyptian constitutional provisions. In order to grasp the foundation of this phenomenon, the thesis studies the rules which regulate the formulation of reservations under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Egypt’s position towards the application of international law on the domestic level, and the interpretation of Shari’a law. The thesis presents three examples of cases where the conflict between ratified human rights treaties, domestic laws, and Shari’a law reservations arise. The thesis demonstrates how the courts’ judgments resolved the conflict, and that the resolution upheld the application of domestic law and overthrew the ratified human rights treaties. Whereas the discussed judgements were made under the former constitutions, the paper investigates the judicial application of ratified human rights treaties under the provisions of the Constitution of 2014. The paper analyzes the novel provisions introduced to the Constitution of 2014 which are related to the application of human rights treaties. Based on these provisions, the paper argues that the constitution of 2014 opens the door for further judicial application of ratified human rights treaties.


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2018

First Advisor

El Sayed, Hani

Committee Member 1

Mai Taha, Thomas Skouteris


62 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


Attending this LLM at the American University in Cairo has been a truly life-changing experience for me. This experience would have been unattainable without the support and guidance I was privileged to receive from many people. I would like to pay my sincere gratitude to the Yousef Jameel GAPP Public Leadership Fellowship for financing my degree and for surrounding the learning process with a vivid atmosphere which not only motivated me throughout the degree, but also allowed me to find joy in education. I wish to express the deepest gratefulness to my supervisor Chair Professor Hany El-Sayed whose immense knowledge, support and guidance helped me create the best possible version of this thesis. I am also grateful to the rest of my thesis committee: Professor Mai Taha and Professor Thomas Skouteris for their insightful comments. I wish to extend my appreciation to Professor Diana Van Bogaert, the heart and soul of the law department, for her continuous support throughout the whole degree. I am wholeheartedly indebted to my family and specially my brother, Muhammed who has been a very rich source of legal knowledge and intelligent comments, and Ela Goksun for providing a constructive linguistic feedback. I am also thankful to my fellow colleagues: Amira Hetaba and Claire McNally with whom I have the most remarkable memories at AUC.