2011 Constitutional Declaration
Supreme Constitutional Court

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,

Cognizant of a) the Constitutional Declaration issued on February 13, 2011, b) the outcome of the referendum on the amendments of the Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt held on March 19, the approval of which was announced on March 20, 2011 and c) the statement issued by the Council on March 23, 2011,

Decides the following:

 Article 1

The Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic state, based on citizenship; The Egyptian people are part of the Arab nation and work to achieve comprehensive Arab unity.

 Article 2

Islam is the religion of the State, Arabic the official language; the principles of Islamic Sharia (Jurisprudence) are the main source of legislation.

 Article 3

Only the people have sovereignty and are the source of all powers; the people exercise and protect sovereignty and safeguard national unity.

 Article 4

Citizens may form societies, unions, syndicates and parties in accordance with the law. Societies of a hostile, clandestine or military nature are prohibited as are political activities and political parties based on religion and/or discrimination on account of gender or ethnicity.

 Article 5

The economy of the Arab Republic of Egypt is based on promoting economic activities and social justice, safeguarding all forms of ownership and protecting labor rights.

 Article 6

Public ownership is preserved, as each and every citizen shall take the duty of its protection according to the law.

Private ownership shall be safeguarded and may not be put under sequestration except in the cases specified in the law and under a court ruling. It may not be expropriated save for the public benefit and against a fair compensation in accordance with the law. The right of inheritance to it is guaranteed.

Article 7

All citizens are equal before the law. They have equal public rights and duties without discrimination on grounds of race, ethnic origin, language, religion or creed.

 Article 8

Individual freedom is a natural right and safeguarded and inviolable. Save for the case of being caught red-handed, no person may be arrested, inspected, detained or his freedom restricted or prevented from free movement except under an order necessitated by investigations and preservation of the security of the society.

Such order shall be given by the competent judge or the Public Prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the law.

The law shall determine the period of custody.

 Article 9

Any person arrested, detained or his freedom restricted shall be treated in such a manner that preserves his human dignity. No physical or moral harm shall be inflicted upon him.

He may not be detained or imprisoned in places other than those defined by laws regulating prisons.
Any statement proved to have been made by a person under any of the aforementioned forms of duress or coercion or under the threat thereof, shall be considered invalid and futile.

 Article 10

Places of residence are sanctified sanctity; they may not be entered or inspected save by causal judicial warrant prescribed by the provisions of the law.

 Article 11

The law protects the inviolability of the private life of citizens.

Correspondence, wires, telephone calls and other means of communication are inviolable, confidential and may not be confiscated or monitored save by a causal judicial warrant and for a definite period in accordance with the provisions of the law.

 Article 12

The State guarantees freedom of belief and the free practice of religious rites.

Freedom of opinion is guaranteed. Every individual has the right to express his opinion and to disseminate it verbally, in writing, illustration or by any other means within the limits of the law. Self-criticism and constructive criticism is a guarantee for the safety of the national structure.

Article 13

Freedom of the press, printing, publication and mass media shall be guaranteed. Censorship on newspapers is forbidden. Warning, suspension or abolition of newspapers by administrative means are prohibited. However, in case of declared state of emergency or in time of war, limited censorship may be imposed on newspapers, publications and mass media in matters related to public safety or for the purposes of national security in accordance with the law.

 Article 14

No citizen shall be inhibited from residing in some place or be forced to reside in a particular place, except in the cases defined by the law.

 Article 15

No citizen shall be deported from or prevented from returning to the country. Handing over political asylum people is prohibited.

 Article 16

Citizens have the right to peaceable and unarmed private assembly, without the need for prior notice. Security men shall not attend such private meetings.

Public meetings, processions and gatherings are allowed within the limits of the law

 

Article 17

Any encroachment upon individual freedom or the inviolability of private life of citizens and/or public rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the law shall be considered a crime, for which criminal and civil lawsuit shall not be forfeited by prescription. The State shall grant a fair compensation to the victim of such encroachment.

 Article 18

The imposition, modification or abolition of public taxes cannot be effected except in the cases decreed by law.

No one shall be exempted from their payment except in the cases specified by the law.  No one should be required to pay additional taxes or imposts except in the cases specified by law.

 Article 19

Penalty shall be personalized. There shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law.  No penalty shall be inflicted except by a judicial sentence. Penalty shall be inflicted only for acts committed subsequent to the promulgation of the law prescribing it.

 

Article 20

A defendant is innocent until proved guilty in legal trial, in which he is granted the right to defend himself. Every person accused of a crime shall be provided with counsel for his defense.

 Article 21

The right to litigation is inviolable and guaranteed for all, and every citizen has the right to have access to his natural judge.

The State shall guarantee accessibility of judicature for litigants, and rapid decision on cases. Any provision in the law stipulating immunity of any act or administrative decision from the control of the judicature is prohibited.

 Article 22

The right of defense in person or by proxy is guaranteed. The Law shall secure, for financially incapable citizens, means to resort to justice and to defend their rights.

 Article 23

Any person arrested or detained shall be informed forthwith of the reasons for his arrest or detention.
He shall have the right to communicate, with whoever he deems fit to inform, and ask for his help in the manner regulated by the law.

He shall be promptly faced with the charges leveled against him.

Any person may lodge an appeal with the courts against any measure taken to restrict his individual freedom.

The law shall regulate the right of appeal in a manner ensuring decision within a definite period; otherwise release is imperative.

 Article 24

Sentences shall be issued and enforced in the name of the people. Meanwhile, abstention from or obstruction of enforcing such sentences on the part of the concerned civil servants is considered a crime punishable by law. In such case, a person issued a sentence in his favor, shall have the right to lodge a direct criminal action before a competent court.

 Article 25

The Head of State is the President of the Republic. He shall ensure sovereignty of the people, respect for the Constitution and rule of the law, protection of national unity and the social justice and shall tend to the boundaries between authorities in such a way as to ensure that each shall perform its role in national action.

The President assumes the powers provided in Article 56 of the Declaration save items 1 and 2 thereof.

Article 26

The President shall be an Egyptian citizen of Egyptian parentage and shall enjoy all civil and political rights. Neither of the President’s parents should be a national of another country. The President should not be married to a non-Egyptian and should be no less than forty years of age (Gregorian calendar).

 Article 27

The President is elected by direct secret ballot.

For the purpose of approving a presidential nomination, a nominee should win the endorsement of 30 elected members of Parliament, or 30,000 registered voters from 15 governorates with at least 1,000 endorsements from each of those governorates.

Members of Parliament and voters may not endorse the nomination of more than one candidate for president.

Parties with at least one elected seat in parliament may nominate one of their members in presidential elections.

 Article 28

A higher committee under the name the “Presidential Elections Commission” shall supervise the elections starting with opening the door for nominations to announcing the results.
The Commission comprises the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court as chair, and the President of the Cairo Court of Appeals and the oldest deputy presidents of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and the State Council as members.

The Commission’s decisions are final, binding and non-violable by any means and/or authority.  The Commission’s decisions may not be suspended or abolished. The Commission shall rule on areas within its competences. The Commission’s other competences shall be defined by law.

The Presidential Elections Commission is responsible for creating the committees in charge of supervising the ballot and counting the votes as described under Article 39.

Before being promulgated, the draft law on presidential elections shall be submitted to the Supreme Constitutional Court to rule on its constitutionality.

The Court shall return a decision within 15 days. Should the Court decide that an article(s) is unconstitutional, the decision should be effectuated on promulgating the law. Under all conditions, the Court’s decisions are binding to all people and all state agencies and should be published in the Official Gazette within three days of issuance.

 Article 29

The term of the Presidency is 4 Gregorian years starting from the date of the announcement of the result of the elections.

 Article 30

Before exercising his powers, the President shall take the following oath before the People’s Assembly:

“I swear by Allah the Almighty to uphold the republican system with loyalty, to respect the Constitution and law, fully to look after the interests of the people and safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the motherland”.

 Article 31

The President shall, within at most 60 days of exercising his powers, appoint one or more vice presidents, the responsibilities of whom the President shall determine. In the case that a vice-president is dismissed from office, the president shall appoint a replacement.

The same qualifications and rules of accountability applicable to the President shall apply to the vice presidents.

 Article 32

The members of the People’s Assembly should exceed 350, of whom at least one half shall be workers and peasants elected by direct secret ballot. The definition of the terms “worker” and “peasant” shall be provided by law.

The President of the Republic may appoint a number of members not exceeding ten.

(Article 33)

The People’s Assembly undertakes, immediately after its election, the legislative authority and decides the general policy of the state along with the public plan for economic and social development and the State’s budget. It also takes over a supervisory role over the executive authority.

(Article 34)

The term of the People’s Assembly is five years (Gregorian calendar) as of the date of its first meeting.

(Article 35)

The Shura Council is formed of a number of members set by the law provided that it should not be less than 132 members with two thirds elected through direct secret balloting, with half of them at least from workers and peasants. The President of the Republic appoints the remaining third.
The law sets the electoral constituencies of the Shura Council.

 (Article 36)

The term of the Shura Council membership is six years.

 (Article 37)

The Shura Council takes over, immediately after its election, studying and proposing what it deems a guarantee for maintaining national unity and social peace along with protecting the basic potentials of the society and its high values, rights, freedoms and public duties. The council should be consulted in the following:

1-      The draft of the general plan for social and economic development.

2-      Draft laws that are referred to it by the president of the republic.

3-      All issues referred to it by the president of the republic that are related to the general policy of the state or its foreign and Arab affairs strategy.

The council briefs the President of the Republic and the People’s Assembly on its opinion regarding any of these issues.

 (Article 38)

The law regulates the right to candidacy to the People’s Assembly and Shura Council in accordance with a specific electoral system set by the law. It is permissible that this system includes a minimum of women participation in the two houses.

 (Article 39)

The law sets the preconditions that must be met by the members of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council and specifies the regulations of election and referendum.

A higher commission, of complete judicial formation, undertakes supervision of the election and referendum starting with registration in the electoral lists until the announcement of the results. This all be undertaken in accordance with the law. Polling and vote counting are carried out under supervision of members of the judicial authorities who are named by the higher councils of these authorities and a decision should be issued by the higher commission on their selection.

(Article 40)

The Court of Cassation is the body in charge of verifying the membership of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council MPs. Challenges are submitted to the court within a period that should not exceed 30 days since the announcement of the election results and the court settles the issue within 90 days later. The membership is considered null and void since the two houses are briefed about the court ruling.

(Article 41)

Measures for People’s Assembly and Shura Council elections start within six months of announcing the operation of this declaration.

The Shura Council undertakes its powers with its elected members.

The President of the Republic undertakes, immediately after his election, completing the formation of the council with appointing one third of its members to complete the remaining term of the council in line with the law.

 (Article 42)

Every member of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council is sworn-in before his respective body before undertaking his task as follows:

“I swear by Allah the Almighty to honestly uphold the safety of the homeland and the republican system and to look after the people’s interests and to respect the Constitution and the Law”.

(Article 43)

Every member of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council is not allowed, during his membership term, to purchase or hire any of the State’s property. He is not also allowed to sell or rent to any State property any of his own property or have any form of transaction with it. He is not allowed to sign with the State any contract in his capacity as a supplier or contractor.

(Article 44)

Membership of any of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council MPs should not be dropped except after losing a vote of no-confidence, not meeting one of the preconditions for the membership or losing the capacity of a worker or peasant on which he was elected or if he did not deliver the requirements of his membership. A decision on dropping his membership should be issued by a majority of two thirds of the members.

 (Article 45)

In case of being caught red-handed in a crime, no criminal measures should be taken against any of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council members unless after a permission from the body to which he belongs. In case the council or the assembly is not in session, permission is obtained from the speaker and the council or the assembly is notified at its first session.

 (Article 46)

The judicial authority is independent and it is undertaken by courts with their various types and instances. Court rulings are issued in accordance with the law.

 (Article 47)

Judges are independent and could not be relieved of their posts. The law regulates bringing them to account and they have no other higher authority in their rulings except the law. No any other authority is allowed to interfere in the cases or justice affairs.

 (Article 48)

The State Council is an independent judicial authority and assumes settling administrative disputes in disciplinary lawsuits. The law specifies its other powers.

 (Article 49)

The Supreme Constitutional Court is an independent judicial authority per se and is assigned, barring any other bodies, with judicial supervision on the constitutionality of laws and regulations. It undertakes interpreting legislative texts. All this is undertaken in line with the law. The law specifies other tasks of the Court and regulates measures that should be followed before it.

 (Article 50)

The law specifies the judicial authorities, their jurisdictions, means of their formation and the preconditions and measures that should be followed for selecting their members.

 (Article 51)

The law regulates martial judiciary, specifies its jurisdiction in accordance with the constitutional principles.

(Article 52)

Court sessions are to be held on public unless the court decides that a session is held behind closed doors, taking into consideration law and order or common rules. In all cases, the ruling should be announced in an on-public session.

 (Article 53)

The Armed Forces is a public property and its mission is protecting the homeland and its territories and security. No agency or group is allowed to set up military or paramilitary formation. Defending the nation and its territories is a sacred mission and drafting is obligatory in accordance with the law. The law specifies the preconditions required for serving and promotion in the Armed Forces.

 (Article 54)

A body named “The National Defense Council” should be set up under the chairmanship of the president of the republic. It is entrusted with looking into issues related to means of protecting the country and its safety. The law specifies its other powers.

 (Article 55)

The police apparatus is a regular civil authority that is undertaking its job in the service of the people and guarantees their safety and security. It maintains law and order and public rules in line with the law.

 (Article 56)

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces runs the affairs of the State. Under this framework it undertakes the following authorities:

1-      Legislation

2-      Approving the general policy of the State and the State’s budget and supervising its implementation.

3-      Selecting the appointed members of the People’s Assembly.

4-      Convoying the People’s Assembly and Shura Council ordinary session and its adjourning and convening an extraordinary session and its adjourning.

5-      The right to issue laws or objecting them.

6-      Representing the State internally and externally and signing international agreements and treaties and they are considered part of the legal system of the State.

7-      Appointing the prime minister and his deputies, the ministers and their deputies and relieving them from their posts.

8-      Appointing civil and military civil servants and political representatives and relieving them in line with the law and approving political representatives of foreign countries

9-      Giving amnesty from a punishment or commuting it. Complete pardon should not be extended except with a law.

10-  Other powers and capacities of the president of the republic in accordance with the laws and regulations.

The council has the right to entrust its chief or any of its members to undertake any of its tasks.

(Article 57)

The Cabinet and ministers undertake the executive authority and the Cabinet in particular is allowed to exercise the following powers:

1-      Participating with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in outlining the general policy of the State and overseeing its implementation in line with the laws and republican decrees.

2-      Steering, coordinating and following up activities of the ministries and their affiliate bodies and public agencies and institutions.

3-      Issuing administrative and executive decisions in line with the laws and regulations and following up their implantation.

4-      Outlining draft laws, regulations and decisions.

5-      Drawing up the draft of the State’s budget.

6-      Outlining the draft of the State’s general plan.

7-      Signing agreements on loans and extending them in accordance with the constitutional principles.

8-      Following up the implementation of laws and preserving the State’s security and protecting the citizens’ rights and the State’s interests.

(Article 58)

A said minister is not allowed, while in office, to undertake any other freelance job or financial or industrial activity. He is not also allowed to buy or hire any of the State’s property or sell or rent to it any of his own property or make any related transaction.

 (Article 59)

The President of the Republic, announces after consulting the Cabinet, a state of emergency in accordance with the law. This announcement should be referred to the People’s Assembly within the following seven days to decide on it. In case the announcement is made while the assembly is not in session, the assembly should convene immediately to decide on the issue while taking into consideration the date mentioned in the previous paragraph. If the People’s Assembly is dissolved, the issue is referred to the new assembly at its first meeting. The declaration of the state of emergency should be approved by majority of the members. In all cases the declaration of the state of emergency should not be maintained for a period of time that exceeds six months and should not be extended except after an approval by the people in a public referendum.
(Article 60)

Non-appointed members of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council are to meet at a joint meeting at an invitation from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces within six months of their election to establish a constituent assembly of 100 members to take over outlining a draft for a new constitution of the country in a date that should not exceed six months since the formation of the constituent assembly. The blueprint is to be referred, within 15 days of its writing, to the people in a public referendum. The constitution is to be effective since the announcement of approval by the people in the referendum.

 (Article 61)

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces remains exercising its powers specified in this declaration until the People’s Assembly and Shura Council undertake their powers and until the election of a president of the republic and undertaking his job.

 (Article 62)

All rulings approved by laws and regulations prior to this constitutional declaration remain valid and in force while they must not be canceled or amended in accordance with rules and measures mentioned in this declaration.

 (Article 63)This declaration is published in the official Gazette and be effective the second day of its publication.

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