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country map - Basic Information
- Executive and Legislative Branches
- Judiciary Branch
- Public Prosecution
- Course of a Criminal Case at the Public Prosecution

Basic Information

Country Flag:
Country Name: Arab Republic of Egypt (Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah)
Name of Capital City: Cairo (Al Qahirah)
Date of Independence: Gained its independence from Britain on February 28, 1922.

Administrative Divisions

Regions, Provinces or Governorates: 28 governorates (muhafazat): Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar, Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah, Al Isma'iliyah, Al Jizah, Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah, Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al Jadid, Ash Sharqiyah, As Suways, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id, Dumyat, Janub Sina', Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina', Suhaj, Hilwan and The 6th of October.
Country Area (sq km): 997739

Political System

Type of State: Republic/unitary
Date of Constitution: Approved by referendum on September 11, 1971.

Head of State

Type: The head of state is the President.
Name of Current: Mohammed Hosni Mubarak has been the president since October 14, 1981. His presidency was renewed for a 5th 6 years term after he won the first contested presidential election in Egypt's history on September 7, 2005.

Executive Branch

About: The prime minister is appointed by the president. The Assembly prescribes his responsibility and submits it as a report to the president.
Name of Current: Ahmed Nazeef became prime minister in July 2004.

Legislative Branch

Type: Bicameral system
- People's Assembly [English][Arabic][French]
- Advisory Council [English][Arabic]

Note: the information below was not updated after September, 2009.
Judiciary Branch
  • Egyptian law is based on Civil Law and Islamic legal principles.
  • There are five judicial bodies:
    1. Supreme Constitutional Court has exclusive jurisdiction over questions of the constitutionality of laws, rules, and regulations.
    2. Judicial Branch (the Judiciary - the Public Prosecution).
    3. Council of State (Administrative Courts - Fatwa [religious decrees] - Legislation).
    4. Administrative Prosecution Body of the Council of State (Maglis ad-Dawla) settles administrative and disciplinary matters.
    5. State Cases Body.
  • There are three levels of ordinary courts:
    1. Summary Courts (240 courts) and Courts of First Instance (22 courts).
    2. Courts of Appeals (8 courts).
    3. Courts of Cassation (363 members and 34 divisions) which serve as the final court of appeals for all lower court cases.
  • The Supreme Judicial Council (Maglis al Qadai al-'Ala) attends to all matters of appointment, promotion, and transfer of judges. It is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation and is composed of the following members: Chief Justice of the Cairo Court of Appeals, Attorney General, two most senior deputies to the Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation, two most senior chief justices of the other Courts of Appeals.
  • There are two levels of state security courts, but verdicts rendered in the emergency section may not be appealed.
  • Military courts try cases involving armed forces, but during a state of emergency the President may transfer crimes to the military courts.
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The Public Prosecution

  • The public prosecution has the right to bring a criminal action and prosecute it, unless otherwise provided for by law.
  • The function of the public prosecution before the courts - except the Court of Cassation - is carried out by the Attorney General or anyone of the assistant attorney generals, first solicitors general, solicitors general, chief district attorneys, their deputies, assistants or aides.
  • At every court of appeals, there shall be a solicitor general, who, under the supervision of the Attorney General, shall have all the rights and powers of such Attorney General as set forth in the laws.
  • The members of the prosecution work under their chiefs according to their rank, then under the Attorney General. The Minister of Justice shall have the authority of administrative oversight over the public prosecution.
The Attorney General:
  • Is entrusted with prosecuting public cases, representing society in moving criminal cases and pursuing their course in the court system until final judgment is rendered. His jurisdiction is general consisting of the authority to investigate and indict. Such jurisdiction covers the entire Republic and all types of crimes whatever they may be.
  • Is appointed from among the chief justices of the courts of appeals, justices of the court of cassation, or first solicitors general at the least, pursuant to a decision by the President of the Republic.
  • Is a member of the judicial branch who is irremovable. He is a member of the Supreme Judicial Council.
  • Oversees the affairs of the office of public prosecution. He holds judicial and administrative presidency over its members.
  • Has the right to carry out his functions by himself. Moreover, he has the right - outside the scope of his sole jurisdiction - to assign any one of the prosecution members who are legally entrusted with assisting him or performing these functions on his behalf.
  • May grant the members of the special prosecution jurisdiction covering the Republic in certain types of crimes.
The Public Prosecutor:
  • Represents the society in pressing criminal charges against offenders and follows up their processing and handling until a final court ruling is issued. He enjoys a general authority over the persons in charge of investigation and accusation. In addition, his authority covers all the provinces of the Republic and all types of crimes that occur in them.
  • The President of the Republic appoints the Public prosecutor by issuing a presidential decree and selects him from the deputy chief justices of the courts of appeal, or the counselors of the court of cassation, or the first general attorneys at least.
  • Supervises the work (s) of the niaba and has a legal and administrative authority over its personnel/members.
  • Is entitled to exclusively assume his official duties by himself and for himself in the areas of specialization which are assigned to him.
  • May assign any members of the prosecution to assist him and oversee legal cases on his behalf. He is also entitled to add new powers to the members of specialized prosecutions who are handling certain types of crimes.
   National laws and regional and international conventions on niaba activity:
  • The Constitution.
  • Judicature Act
  • Criminal Procedure Code
  • Penal Code and special criminal acts
  • Civil and commercial procedure code
  • Child act
  • Act regulating litigation on matters of personal status
  • The international treaties and conventions to which Egypt has joined and ratified concerning extradition of criminals, transfer of convicts, and international judicial cooperation.
- The Organizational Structure of the Public Prosecution (PDF file)
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The Course of a Criminal Case at the Public Prosecution

After the prosecution receives a report or notification of an incident, or a report on the evidence gathered and the investigation that was done in matters that warrant investigation, an action is initiated if the evidence to indict is sufficient to increase the likelihood of getting a conviction. But if the case papers are devoid of indicting evidence, or if the evidence is not likely get a conviction, the case is dismissed or a decision is made thereon indicating lack of grounds to initiate action as the case may be.

The Investigation by the Public Prosecution:

  • The public prosecution is the agency that conducts the investigation. The investigation process is initiated with the preparation of a report by a prosecution member.
  • The defendant is questioned about the charge attributed to him.
  • Witnesses are summoned and questioned in order of their importance. The prosecution member begins by hearing the witnesses for the defense after concluding the interrogation of the defendant to avert any subornation of the witnesses in such a way so as to conform with the defendant's statements.
  • The investigation is completed by making use of experts, or conducting surveillance and inspection if necessary.
- Principal Activities of the Public Prosecution (PDF file)