June 4, 1996
The Arab Republic of Egypt Ministry of Justice Report on
Recommended Solutions to Backlog and Delay in the Civil Courts, is the final product of a
four-year comprehensive study of the practical operation of the Egyptian civil justice
legal process. Based on this study, the Egyptian Ministry of Justice (the "Ministry") has
recommended the modernization of its traditional civil law process through the
development of judicial managerial functions and consensual dispute resolution
mechanisms for civil and commercial disputes.
These recommendations represent a resolute commitment by Egypt to develop the legal
conditions necessary for economic growth by developing modern civil and commercial
dispute resolution functions and mechanisms both within and outside the traditional legal
process. These new measures will allow Egypt to foster domestic and foreign trust in the
civil justice legal process, which is necessary for the growth of commerce, foreign and
domestic investment, and the achievement of sustainable economic development.
This Report follows a Civil Justice Conference held on January 3-4, 1996 (the
"Conference"), attended by senior members of the Ministry and the parliamentary legal
council, as well as judges, lawyers, and law professors. The Conference concluded with
resolutions to prepare legislation in order to implement two integrated process
modernization proposals: (1) Case Management, a judicial
designed to reduce delay by imposing a disciplined schedule on the preparation of civil
and commercial cases for adjudication, and (2) Judicial
Mediation, a consensual
alternative dispute resolution mechanism designed to reduce backlog by encouraging
consensual settlements of civil and commercial cases. The Conference also resolved to
study further the development of a private mediation center, based on U.S. models.
The study employed a wide array of practical research methods, including the
establishment of permanent study groups, authoritative papers, lectures, demonstrations,
critical commentary and assessment (both private and public), personal and group
interviews and meetings, comprehensive reports, simulated models, workshops, and a
final conference, concluding with recommended reform proposals described in this
Report. Prior to this Report, the Ministry and the Institute for the Study and
Development of Legal Systems ("ISDLS") published seven
covering both critical assessments of current problems and recommended reforms
designed to modernize the Egyptian legal process. With the publication of each of these
reports, the Ministry and ISDLS developed a more accurate assessment of the problems
and further tailored the reform proposals to meet the unique needs of Egypt.
This study was conducted jointly by the Ministry through its designated Egyptian Legal
Study Group and ISDLS. It was administered entirely by the United States Information
Service (the "U.S.I.S."). All participants
donated innumerable hours of time both abroad
and at home and have generously extended themselves professionally, intellectually and
socially in order to achieve the ambitious goals of this undertaking. The close friendship
and trust cultivated by the two national delegations is exemplary and largely responsible
for the successful results of the study. Most significantly, the creativity and intensity of
the study encouraged the Ministry to include private lawyers and law professors in the
expansive dialogue in order to ensure that the reform proposals would be acceptable to all
participants in the legal process.
Acknowledgment is given to the contributions of the U.S.I.S. and the members of the
Egyptian Legal Study Group and the U.S. legal delegation, who all
have contributed to
the success of this project. Special recognition is given to Magda Barsoum, U.S.I.S.-FSN, who
has coordinated every phase of this project from the U.S.I.S. office in Cairo,
Counselor Omar Hafeez, Assistant Director of the National Judicial Center, who has
served as Chairman of the Egyptian Legal Study Group, and Professor Hiram E.
Chodosh, Director of Comparative Legal Studies at Case Western Reserve Law School,
who has served as the legal reporter for the entire project.
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