Thursday, June 30, 2011

Law in the Egyptian Revolt

Beginning on January 25, 2011, Egyptians went to the streets in the millions to claim their rights. After 18 days of popular mobilization, Husni Mubarak’s three decades in power were brought to an abrupt end. What was notable about this popular revolt was not simply the fact that the Egyptian public overcame the formidable defenses of a deeply entrenched regime, but also the character of this popular mobilization—namely, the extent to which law and legal institutions were, and still remain, on the front lines of political struggle. From day one of the protests, a new Constitution was front and centre in political debates, not simply among political elites, but also among “everyday Egyptians.” A new Constitution that would protect political rights and freedoms was one of the primary demands in the early days of the revolt, and it remains a central objective of political activists months after Mubarak’s departure.