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Constitution of Egypt (2014)

1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1

2


3Preamble

4In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

5This is Our Constitution

6Egypt is the gift of the Nile and the gift of Egyptians to humanity.

7Blessed with a unique location and history, the Arab nation of Egypt is the heart of the whole world. It is the meeting point of its civilizations and cultures and the crossroads of its maritime transportation and communications. It is the tip of Africa on the Mediterranean and the estuary of its greatest river: the Nile.

8This is Egypt, an immortal homeland to Egyptians, and a message of peace and love to all peoples.

9In the beginning of history, the dawn of human conscience rose and shone forth in the hearts of our great ancestors, uniting their good intention to build the first central state that regulated and organized the life of Egyptians on the banks of the Nile. It is where they created the most amazing wonders of civilization, and where their hearts looked up to the heavens before earth knew the three revealed religions.

10Egypt is the cradle of religions and the banner of glory of the revealed religions.

11On its land, Moses grew up, the light of God appeared, and the message descended on Mount Sinai.

12On its land, Egyptians welcomed Virgin Mary and her baby and offered up thousands of martyrs in defense of the Church of Jesus.

13When the Seal of the Messengers Mohamed (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) was sent to all mankind to perfect the sublime morals, our hearts and minds were opened to the light of Islam. We were the best soldiers on Earth to fight for the cause of God, and we disseminated the message of truth and religious sciences across the world.

14This is Egypt; a homeland that we live in as much as it lives in us.

15In the modern age, minds were enlightened, humanity became mature, and nations and peoples progressed on the path of science, raising the banners of freedom and equality. Mohamed Ali founded the modern Egyptian state with a national army as its pillar. Refaa, the son of Al-Azhar, prayed that the homeland become "a place of common happiness for its people." We, Egyptians, strived to keep up with the pace of development, and offered up martyrs and made sacrifices in several uprisings and revolutions until our patriotic army delivered victory to the sweeping popular will in the “Jan 25 – June 30” Revolution that called for bread, freedom and human dignity within a framework of social justice, and brought back the homeland’s free will.

16This revolution is but an extension to a process of national struggle whose brightest symbols were Ahmed Oraby, Mostafa Kamel, and Mohamed Farid. It was the capstone of two great revolutions in our modern history:

17The 1919 revolution that had rid Egypt and the Egyptians of the British guardianship, and had established the principle of citizenship and equality between the people of the same country. Its leader, Saad Zaghloul, and his successor, Mosfata El-Nahhas, walked the path of democracy, asserting that “Truth is above power and the nation is above the government”. During this revolution, Talaat Harb laid down the cornerstone of the national economy.

18The July 23, 1952 revolution that was led by the leader Gamal Abdel Nasser and was embraced by the popular will achieved the dream of generations for evacuation and independence. As a result, Egypt affirmed its Arab allegiance, opened up to its African continent and Muslim world, supported liberation movements across continents, and took firm steps on the path of development and social justice.

19This revolution represents an extension of the revolutionary march of Egyptian patriotism, and supports the strong bond between the Egyptian people and their patriotic army that bore the trust and responsibility of protecting the homeland. Thanks to it, we achieved victory in our greatest battles including driving off the 1956 Tripartite Aggression and the glorious victory of October that granted President Sadat a special place in our recent history.

20Compared to major revolutions in the history of mankind, the Jan 25 – June 30 Revolution is a unique revolution, because of the heavy popular participation involved -- which was estimated to be in the tens of millions -- and the significant role of youth who aspire to a brighter future, the masses who transcended class and ideology to reach out to more expansive patriotic and human horizons, the manner in which the people’s army protected the popular will and the blessings granted to it by Al-Azhar and the patriotic church. It is also unique because of its peacefulness and ambition to achieve freedom and social justice together.

21This revolution is a sign and a good omen. It is a sign of a past that is still present and a good omen of a future to which all humanity aspires.

22The world has almost forgotten about an age that was torn by conflicts of interest between the east and the west, and the north and the south; an age where disputes and wars erupted between classes and peoples, where risks grew, threatening the existence of mankind and life on Earth, which God created for us. Humanity hopes to move from the age of maturity to the age of wisdom to build a new world where truth and justice prevail, and where freedoms and human rights are protected. We, Egyptians, believe that our revolution is an opportunity to return to help write a new history for mankind.

23We believe that we are capable of using the past as an inspiration, stirring up the present, and making our way to the future. We are capable of developing this homeland that develops us.

24We believe that every citizen is entitled to live in this homeland in safety and security, and that every citizen is entitled to a today and a tomorrow.

25We believe in democracy as a path, a future, and a way of life; in political multiplicity; and in the peaceful transfer of power. We affirm the right of the people to make their future. They, alone, are the source of authority. Freedom, human dignity, and social justice are a right of every citizen. Sovereignty in a sovereign homeland belongs to us and future generations.

26We are now drafting a Constitution that embodies the dream of generations of a prosperous united society and of a fair state that achieves the aspirations of today and tomorrow for individuals and society.

27We are now drafting a Constitution that completes building a modern democratic state with a civil government.

28We are drafting a Constitution that closes the door for any corruption or tyranny, heals the wounds of the past from the time of the old Eloquent Peasant to the victims of negligence and the martyrs of the revolution in our time, and relieves our people of the injustice they have suffered from for long.

29We are drafting a Constitution that affirms that the principles of Islamic Sharia are the principle source of legislation, and that the reference for interpretation thereof is the relevant texts in the collected rulings of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

30We are drafting a Constitution that paves the way to the future for us, and which is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which we took part in the drafting of and approved.

31We are drafting a Constitution that maintains our freedom and protects the nation against every threat against it or against our national unity.

32We are drafting a Constitution that achieves equality between us in rights and duties with no discrimination.

33We are the citizens. We are the Egyptian people, sovereigns in a sovereign homeland. This is our will and this is the Constitution of our revolution.

34This is our Constitution.

35Chapter One. The State

36Article 1. Nature of the Republic

37The Arab Republic of Egypt is a sovereign state, united and indivisible, where nothing is dispensable, and its system is democratic republic based on citizenship and the rule of law.

38Egypt is part of the Arab nation and enhances its integration and unity. It is part of the Muslim world, belongs to the African continent, is proud of its Asian dimension, and contributes to building human civilization.

39Article 2. Islam, Principles of Islamic Sharia

40Islam is the religion of the state and Arabic is its official language. The principles of Islamic Sharia are the principle source of legislation.

41Article 3. Christian and Jewish religious affairs

42The principles of the laws of Egyptian Christians and Jews are the main source of laws regulating their personal status, religious affairs, and selection of spiritual leaders.

43Article 4. Sovereignty

44Sovereignty belongs to the people alone, which exercises it and protects it. They are the source of power. They safeguard their national unity, which is based on the principle of equality, justice and equal opportunity between citizens, as provided in this Constitution.

45Article 5. Political system

46The political system is based on political and partisan multiplicity, the peaceful transfer of power, the separation and balance of powers, authority going with responsibility, and respect for human rights and freedoms, as set out in the Constitution.

47Article 6. Citizenship

48Citizenship is a right to anyone born to an Egyptian father or an Egyptian mother. Being legally recognized and obtaining official papers proving his personal data is a right guaranteed and organized by law.

49Requirements for acquiring citizenship are specified by law.

50Chapter Two. Basic Components of Society

51Section One. Social Components

52Article 7. Al-Azhar

53Al-Azhar is an independent scientific Islamic institution, with exclusive competence over its own affairs. It is the main authority for religious sciences, and Islamic affairs. It is responsible for preaching Islam and disseminating the religious sciences and the Arabic language in Egypt and the world.

54The state shall provide enough financial allocations to achieve its purposes.

55Al-Azhar’s Grand Sheikh is independent and cannot be dismissed. The method of appointing the Grand Sheikh from among the members of the Council of Senior Scholars is to be determined by law.

56Article 8. Social solidarity

57Society is based on social solidarity.

58The state commits to achieving social justice, providing the means to achieve social solidarity to ensure a decent life for all citizens, in the manner organized by law.

59Article 9. Equal opportunity

60The state ensures equal opportunity for all citizens without discrimination.

61Article 10. Family as the basis of society

62Family is the basis of society and is based on religion, morality, and patriotism. The state protects its cohesion and stability, and the consolidation of its values.

63Article 11. The place of women, motherhood and childhood

64The state commits to achieving equality between women and men in all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

65The state commits to taking the necessary measures to ensure appropriate representation of women in the houses of parliament, in the manner specified by law. It grants women the right to hold public posts and high management posts in the state, and to appointment in judicial bodies and entities without discrimination.

66The state commits to the protection of women against all forms of violence, and ensures women empowerment to reconcile the duties of a woman toward her family and her work requirements.

67The state ensures care and protection and care for motherhood and childhood, and for breadwinning, and elderly women, and women most in need.

68Article 12. Right to work, forced labor

69Work is a right, a duty, and an honor guaranteed by the state. There can be no forced labor except in accordance with the law and for the purpose of performing a public service for a defined period of time and in return for a fair wage, without prejudice to the basic rights of those assigned to the work.

70Article 13. Worker Rights

71The state commits to protecting worker rights, and works on building balanced work relationships between the two sides of the production process. It ensures means for collective negotiations and works on protecting workers against the risks of work, ensures that conditions for professional security, safety and health are met, and prohibits arbitrary dismissal. All the foregoing is as organized by law.

72Article 14. State employment

73Public posts are a right for citizens on the basis of merit, with no favoritism or mediation. Public posts are an assignment in service of the people. The state ensures the rights and protection of civil servants, and that they shall perform their duties in service of the interests of the people. They may not be dismissed outside of disciplinary action except in those situations set out by law.

74Article 15. Right to strike

75Striking peacefully is a right which is organized by law.

76Article 16. Martyrs and wounded of the revolution

77The state commits to honoring the martyrs of the nation, caring for the wounded of the revolution, elderly war veterans, the wounded, and families of those missing in war, as well as their equals, and the wounded in security operations, their wives, children and parents. It works on providing them with job opportunities. The foregoing will be organized by law.

78The state encourages the contribution of civil society to achieving these objectives.

79Article 17. Social security services

80The state provides social security services.

81All citizens who have no access to the social security system have the right to social security to ensure a decent life, if they are unable to support themselves and their families in the event of incapacity to work, old age or unemployment.

82The state works to provide appropriate pensions to small farmers, agricultural workers, hunters and informal labor in accordance with the law.

83Insurance and pension funds are private and enjoy all forms of protection afforded to public funds. Together with their returns, they are a right of their beneficiaries. They shall be invested in a safe manner and managed by an independent entity, in accordance with the law.

84The state guarantees funds for insurance and pensions.

85Article 18. Health care

86Every citizen is entitled to health and to comprehensive health care with quality criteria. The state guarantees to maintain and support public health facilities that provide health services to the people, and work on enhancing their efficiency and their fair geographical distribution.

87The state commits to allocate a percentage of government expenditure that is no less than 3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to health. The percentage will gradually increase to reach global rates.

88The state commits to the establishment of a comprehensive health care system for all Egyptians covering all diseases. The contribution of citizens to its subscriptions or their exemption therefrom is based on their income rates.

89Denying any form of medical treatment to any human in emergency or life-threatening situations is a crime.

90The state commits to improving the conditions of physicians, nursing staff, and health sector workers, and achieving equity for them.

91All health facilities and health related products, materials, and health-related means of advertisement are subject to state oversight. The state encourages the participation of the private and public sectors in providing health care services as per the law.

92Article 19. Education

93Every citizen has the right to education with the aim of building the Egyptian character, maintaining national identity, planting the roots of scientific thinking, developing talents, promoting innovation and establishing civilizational and spiritual values and the concepts of citizenship, tolerance and non- discrimination. The state commits to uphold its aims in education curricula and methods, and to provide education in accordance with global quality criteria.

94Education is obligatory until the end of the secondary stage or its equivalent. The state grants free education in different stages in state educational institutions as per the law.

95The state commits to allocating a percentage of government spending that is no less than 4% of the GDP for education. It will gradually increase this until it reaches global rates.

96The state oversees education to ensure that all public and private schools and institutes abide by its educational policies.

97Article 20. Technical education, professional training

98The state commits to encourage and develop technical education and professional training and expand all types thereof in accordance with global quality criteria, in keeping with the needs of the labor market.

99Article 21. Academic independence

100The state guarantees the independence of universities, scientific and linguistic academies. It commits to providing university education in accordance with global quality criteria, and to developing free university education in state universities and institutes as per the law.

101The state allocates a percentage of the government expenditure that is no less than 2% of Gross National Product (GNP). It will gradually increase until it reaches global rates.

102The state works on encouraging the establishment of non-profit public universities. The state guarantees the quality of education in private and public universities, their commitment to global quality criteria, preparing their educational and research cadres, and allocating a sufficient percentage of its returns to develop the educational and research process.

103Article 22. Teachers

104Teachers and members of the teaching staff and their assistants are the main pillar of education. The state guarantees the development of their academic competencies and professional skills, and care for their financial and moral rights in order to ensure the quality of education and achieve its objectives.

105Article 23. Scientific research

106The state grants the freedom of scientific research and encourages its institutions as a means to achieving national sovereignty, and building a knowledge economy. The state sponsors researchers and inventors, and allocates a percentage of government expenditures that is no less than 1% of Gross National Product to scientific research. It will gradually increase until it reaches global rates.

107The state commits to provide effective means of contribution for the private and public sectors and the contribution of expatriate Egyptians to the development of scientific research.

108Article 24. Arabic language, religious education and national history

109The Arabic language, religious education, and national history in all its stages are core subjects of pre- university public and private education. Universities are committed to teaching human rights, and professional morals and ethics relating to various academic disciplines.

110Article 25. Illiteracy

111The state commits to developing a comprehensive plan to eradicate alphabetical and digital illiteracy for all citizens from all age groups. It commits to developing implementation mechanisms with the participation of civil society institutions according to a specific timeline.

112Article 26. Civil titles

113The institution of civil titles is prohibited.

114Section Two. Economic Components

115Article 27. Economic system

116The economic system aims at achieving prosperity in the country through sustainable development and social justice to guarantee an increase in the real growth rate of the national economy, raising the standard of living, increasing job opportunities, reducing unemployment rates and eliminating poverty.

117The economic system is committed to the criteria of transparency and governance, supporting competitiveness, encouraging investment, achieving balanced growth with regards to geography, sector and the environment; preventing monopolistic practices, taking into account the financial and commercial balance and a fair tax system; regulating market mechanisms; guaranteeing different types of ownership; and achieving balance between the interests of different parties to maintain the rights of workers and protect consumers.

118The economic system is socially committed to ensuring equal opportunities and a fair distribution of development returns, to reducing the gaps between incomes by setting a minimum wage and pension to ensure a decent life, and setting a maximum wage in state agencies for whoever works for a wage as per the law.

119Article 28. Production and service based economy activity

120Economic production, service-based and information-based activities are key components of the national economy. The state commits to protecting them, increasing their competiveness, providing an environment that attracts investment, and works on increasing production, encouraging exports, and regulating imports.

121The state gives special attention to small and medium enterprises in all fields. It works on regulating and training the informal sector.

122Article 29. Agriculture

123Agriculture is a basic component of the national economy.

124The state commits to protecting and increasing land under cultivation, and incriminating encroachments thereon. It works on developing the countryside, raising the standard of living of its inhabitants and protecting it from agricultural risks, and works on developing agricultural and animal production, and encouraging industries based thereon.

125The state commits to providing the requirements of agricultural and animal production and buying basic agricultural crops at appropriate prices to achieve a profit margin for farmers in agreement with agricultural unions, syndicates and agricultural associations. The state also commits to the allocation of a percentage of reclaimed lands to small farmers and youth graduates, and to the protection of farmers and agricultural workers against exploitation. All the foregoing will take place in the manner organized by law.

126Article 30. Fisheries

127The state commits to protecting fisheries, protecting and supporting fishermen, and empowering them to carry out their work without causing damages to eco-systems, in the manner organized by law.

128Article 31. Information Space Security

129The security of information space is an integral part of the system of national economy and security. The state commits to taking the necessary measures to preserve it in the manner organized by law.

130Article 32. Natural resources

131Natural resources belong to the people. The state commits to preserving such resources, to their sound exploitation, to preventing their depletion, and to take into consideration the rights of future generations to them.

132The state commits to making the best use of renewable energy resources, motivating investment, and encouraging relevant scientific research. The state works on encouraging the manufacture of raw materials, and increasing their added value according to economic feasibility.

133Disposing of the state’s public property is forbidden. Granting the right to exploit natural resources or a concession to a public utility shall take place by law for a period not exceeding 30 years.

134Granting the right to exploit quarries and small mines and salterns, or granting a concession to a public utility shall take place for a period not exceeding 30 years based on a law.

135The law sets the provisions for disposing of state private property, and the rules and procedures regulating such.

136Article 33. Ownership

137The state protects ownership, which is three types: Public ownership, private ownership, and cooperative ownership.

138Article 34. Public Property

139Public property is inviolable and may not be infringed upon. It is the duty of every citizen to protect it in accordance with the law.

140Article 35. Private property

141Private property is protected. The right to inherit property is guaranteed. Private property may not be sequestrated except in cases specified by law, and by a court order. Ownership of property may not be confiscated except for the public good and with just compensation that is paid in advance as per the law.

142Article 36. Private sector’s social responsibility

143The state encourages the private sector to perform its social responsibility in serving the national economy and society.

144Article 37. Cooperative Property

145Cooperative property is protected. The state cares for cooperatives, and the law guarantees its protection and support, and ensures its independence.

146It cannot be dissolved, nor its boards, except by court order.

147Article 38. Taxation

148The taxation system and other public levies aim to develop state resources, and achieve social justice and economic development.

149Public taxes cannot be established, modified, or cancelled except by law. There can be no exemptions except in cases prescribed by law. It is prohibited to require anyone to pay additional taxes or fees except within the limits of the law.

150When imposing taxes, it must be taken into account that the tax system has multiple sources. The taxes imposed on the incomes of individuals are progressive multi-tier taxes that according to their tax capacity. The tax system ensures the promotion of heavy labor industries, and incentivizing their role in economic, social, and cultural development.

151The state commits to the development of the tax system, and adoption of modern systems to achieve efficiency, ease and accuracy in tax collection. The law specifies the methods and tools to collect taxes, fees, and any other sovereign returns, and what is deposited in the state treasury.

152Paying taxes is a duty, and tax evasion is a crime.

153Article 39. Savings

154Saving is a national duty that is protected and encouraged by the state. The state safeguards savings in accordance with the law.

155Article 40. Confiscation of property

156Public confiscation of property is prohibited.

157Private confiscation is prohibited except based on a court judgment.

158Article 41. Housing

159The state commits to the implementation of a housing program that aims at achieving balance between population growth rates and the resources available, maximizing investment in human energy, and improving its features, within the framework of achieving sustainable development.

160Article 42. Workers’ share in management

161Workers have a share in the management of projects and their profits. They are committed to developing production and implementing the plan in their production units as per the law. Maintaining the tools of production is a national duty.

162Workers’ representatives on the boards of public sector units are 50 percent of the number of elected members. Their representation on the boards of public business sector companies takes place in accordance with the law.

163The law regulates the representation of small farmers and small craftsmen that is no less than 80 per cent of the boards of directors of agricultural, industrial and trade cooperatives.

164Article 43. Suez Canal

165The state commits to protecting, developing and maintaining the Suez Canal as an international waterway that it owns. It is also committed to the development of the canal sector as a significant economic pillar.

166Article 44. The Nile

167The state commits to protecting the Nile River, maintaining Egypt’s historic rights thereto, rationalizing and maximizing its benefits, not wasting its water or polluting it. The state commits to protecting its mineral water, to adopting methods appropriate to achieve water safety, and to supporting scientific research in this field.

168Every citizen has the right to enjoy the Nile River. It is prohibited to encroach upon it or to harm the river environment. The state guarantees to remove encroachments thereon. The foregoing is regulated by law.

169Article 45. Seas, Beaches, lakes, waterways, mineral water and natural reserves

170The state commits to protecting its seas, beaches, lakes, waterways, mineral water, and natural reserves.

171It is prohibited to encroach upon, pollute, or use them in a manner that contradicts their nature. Every citizen has the right to enjoy them as regulated by law. The state also commits to the protection and development of green space in urban areas; the protection of plants, livestock and fisheries; the protection of endangered species; and the prevention of cruelty to animals. All the foregoing takes place as regulated by law.

172Article 46. Environment

173Every individual has the right to live in a healthy, sound and balanced environment. Its protection is a national duty. The state is committed to taking the necessary measures to preserve it, avoid harming it, rationally use its natural resources to ensure that sustainable development is achieved, and guarantee the rights of future generations thereto.

174Section Three. Cultural Components

175Article 47. Cultural identity

176The state is committed to protecting Egyptian cultural identity with its diverse civilizational origins.

177Article 48. Right to culture

178Culture is a right of every citizen that is guaranteed by the state. The state is committed to support it and provide all types of cultural materials to the different groups of people without discrimination based on financial capacity, geographical location, or anything else. The state gives special attention to remote areas and the groups most in need.

179The state encourages translation from and to Arabic.

180Article 49. Monuments

181The state commits to protecting and preserving antiquities and their areas, and to maintaining them, renovating them, working to retrieve those that have been taken, and organizing and supervising excavations thereof.

182It is prohibited to give away any of them as gifts or exchange them.

183Attacks upon them and trafficking in them is a crime for which there is no statute of limitations.

184Article 50. Material and moral civilizational and cultural heritage

185Egypt’s material and moral civilizational and cultural heritage of all types and from all of the Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, and modern periods are a national and human heritage that the state commits to protect and maintain. The same applies to the modern architectural, literary and artistic cultural stock. Any attack thereon is a crime punishable by law. The state gives special attention to maintain the components of cultural diversity.

186Chapter Three. Public Rights, Freedoms and Duties

187Article 51. Human dignity

188Dignity is a right for every person that may not be infringed upon. The state shall respect, guarantee and protect it.

189Article 52. Torture

190All forms of torture are a crime with no statute of limitations.

191Article 53. Equality in public rights and duties

192Citizens are equal before the law, possess equal rights and public duties, and may not be discriminated against on the basis of religion, belief, sex, origin, race, color, language, disability, social class, political or geographical affiliation, or for any other reason.

193Discrimination and incitement to hate are crimes punishable by law.

194The state shall take all necessary measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination, and the law shall regulate the establishment of an independent commission for this purpose.

195Article 54. Personal freedom

196Personal freedom is a natural right which is safeguarded and cannot be infringed upon. Except in cases of in flagrante delicto, citizens may only be apprehended, searched, arrested, or have their freedoms restricted by a causal judicial warrant necessitated by an investigation.

197All those whose freedoms have been restricted shall be immediately informed of the causes therefor, notified of their rights in writing, be allowed to immediately contact their family and lawyer, and be brought before the investigating authority within twenty-four hours of their freedoms having been restricted.

198Questioning of the person may only begin once his lawyer is present. If he has no lawyer, a lawyer will be appointed for him. Those with disabilities shall be provided all necessary aid, according to procedures stipulated in the law.

199Those who have their freedom restricted and others possess the right of recourse before the judiciary. Judgment must be rendered within a week from such recourse, otherwise the petitioner shall be immediately released.

200The law shall regulate preventive detention, its duration, causes, and which cases are eligible for compensation that the state shall discharge for preventative detention or for execution of a penalty that had been executed by virtue of a judgment that is overruled by a final judgment.

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