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Justice in the Egyptian Legal System Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ahmed Ragab Al-Kotby, Egypt Oct 11, 2008
Human Rights   Opinions
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Have you ever found someone shouting: “this is not fair!!”, have you ever went to talk to your boss or dad or whoever superior you and said: “well, I think this is not just, I have more rights to take!!”?!!

When you try to identify your rights you are trying to build up a tool for justice, when you try to get your right implemented then you are calling for justice; those are few words that I wanted to highlight before going in any details in this article!! What I mainly wanted to express here, that justice is not far away idea from our daily life; it is not an idea to be studied in Law schools, or to be taught as a kind of a philosophy. Justice is much more than an individual think, many people just use the word justice and words from its kinds without thinking about why and how they use it!!

Any way, since talking about justice is as if you were sailing the sea; you have to have some directions and some tools not to be lost or overlapped; that is why I want to outline my article first on:
1. What is Justice? What are its kinds?
2. The interchangeable relation between Justice and Fairness
3. The embedded relation between Justice and Equality before the Law principles
4. The Principle of Justice as a main element of Egyptian Legal System, Principle of Justice and Natural Law
What is Justice? What are its Kinds?

Justice in its very simple definition is the concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, fairness and equity. Plato discussed justice as when everyone is doing something and no one is getting hurt. Aristotle describes his concepts of natural justice as general justice, legislative justice, particular justice, political justice, and economical justice. He provides these concepts as the laws for slavery. Thomas Hobbes thrives on Aristotle’s concept of natural justice. Hobbes believes in the survival of the fittest, that the strongest will survive.

For me, I define justice as: a good feeling toward an act made up on the person when (s)he and the community feel this act is fair and right. However, I feel it is essential for an article about Justice in the Egyptian Legal System to get in some details to the kinds of justice, as this will be used later on as an introduction to a comparison between the general principle of justice and the Egyptian legal system.

Kinds of Justice:
Identifying kinds of justice is really a huge task for a researcher to do, it goes beyond counting and no one can ever dare to count them or think that he/she will be able one day to gather them all. This is simply because every time you think about anything you think about justice with it so it is like an ever-growing term. So, I will mention in the following few paragraphs some of the most important kinds of justice in my point of view and I will leave the space open for the reader to go beyond what I found out.

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income within the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws.

Social Justice is the belief that every individual and group is entitled to fair and equal rights and participation in social, educational, and economic opportunities. Moreover , it is the fair distribution of advantages, assets, and benefits among all members of a society.

Natural justice is a legal philosophy used in some jurisdictions in the determination of just, or fair, processes in legal proceedings. In addition, natural justice is thought to be basic rules and procedures to be followed by any person or body charged with the responsibility of determining disputes.
Restorative Justice is a cost-effective criminal justice approach that is based on reconciliation, restoration, healing and rehabilitation.

Distributive Justice is justice dispensed in the community to confer maximum value to those in need through the notions of fairness and consistency.

Legislative Justice can be maintained through two main perspectives; first, it is the pure application of equality before the law principle. In addition to, the right of people to have an updated legislative system that suits their needs and changes every time their needs are changed.

Political Justice is the rights of the person require that individuals have an effective role in shaping their own destinies. They have a right to participate in the political process freely and responsibly. They have a right to free access to information, freedom of speech and press, as well as freedom of dissent. They have a right to be educated and to determine the education of their children. Individuals and groups must be secure from arrest, torture and imprisonment for political or ideological reasons, and all in society, including migrant workers, must be guaranteed juridical protection of their personal, social, cultural and political rights.

Economical Justice is a conviction that economic policies must result in benefits that are distributed equally across income and racial lines; that jobs created by state and local tax incentives must go to local people and taxpayers; and that the health, natural resources, and the culture of the community must be protected.

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Ahmed Ragab Al-Kotby

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