Special Courts and the Formation of Authoritarianism in Egypt

Oct 18, 2018
05:30 PM to 07:30 PM
102 Weaver

Yoram Meital, University of Pennsylvania, Katz Center for Advanced Jewish Studies, Ben Gurion University 

This lecture analyzes the critical role that the state’s justice system filled following the July 1952 revolution. It discusses the military-backed government’s intensive use of decrees, laws, and constitutional declarations during the transition stage of that revolution, and analyzes the crucial role played by a pair of two special tribunals - The Revolu-tion’s Court and The People’s Court - in the formation of an authoritarian regime that would reign well into the next century. These special courts were dissolved at the end of the 1950's. However, the long-standing Egyptian practice of adjudicating citizens before special courts (all were conferred with exceptional powers) would reach new heights in the decades to come. Thousands of the regime’s adversaries—the majority of whom were members of the Muslim Brothers, but also liberals and communists—were prosecuted within the framework of these special tribunals. The widespread use of these tribunals, including the military variety, turned this exception into the rule.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Global Studies.

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