A First Violation of the Sharia Provision. The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt’s Ruling of 15 January 2006, in the case no 113/XXVI.

Document Type



In early 2006, Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court found a statutory provision in force at the time of the decision to be in violation of the constitutional provision declaring the principles of Islamic law the chief source of legislation (Art. 2). It was the first time since the provision was originally introduced in the Constitution in 1971 and later amended in 1980. Since this ruling, the Court found another two statutory provisions to be in violation of the sharia provision in the latter’s five decades of operation, in 2013 and in 2021. In the ruling considered here, the Court confirmed its conventional construction of Art. 2, but took a position on a critical and contentious device of legal reform: Can legal change be produced through procedural expedients? Ultimately, the Court had to answer another and even more fundamental question: Can the legislator deny legal effects to a religiously valid act like unilateral divorce (ṭalāq)?

Publication (Name of Journal)

Arab Law Quarterly