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This paper interrogates the very form of collective decision making that legislation signifies, its operationalisation in adjudication, and its interrelation with popular culture. Through the lens of the Egyptian legal system, the paper offers case-studies of collective decision making on matters of personal status, it focuses on the state's different approach towards the regulation of personal status for its Muslim and non-Muslim citizens; in the legal context of the ‘best interests of the child’ it looks at the multiple entanglements of legislation and its eventual actualisation in Egyptian courts; and it uses classical examples of Egyptian cinema popularly associated with changes in legislation – underlining how the big screen in Egypt has often been the place where some of the most contentious and divisive matters of personal status have been discussed.

Table of Contents

General Introduction - Gianluca Parolin

Making Up the Balance: A Century of Muslim and Coptic Family Law Reform in Egypt - Nadia Sonneveld

Custody and the Best Interests of the Child - Nathalie Bernard-Maugiron

The Impact and Effect of Drama on the Laws of Society - Enas Lotfy

Publication Information

London, Aga Khan University - Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, 2021


Abdou Filali-Ansary Occasional Paper Series




ISSN 2633 - 8890


Law, Legal Status, Egypt, Cinema

One Hundred Years of Family Law Reform in Parliament, in Court, and on Screen