Mina Khalil

  • Fellowship Dates 2018-2019
  • Research Topic History of the Criminal Defendant in Modern Egypt, 1820s-1920s
  • Fellow or Grant Type Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Affiliation Pre-doctoral candidate University of Pennsylvania
What were the transformations that impacted the criminal defendant in modern Egypt during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries?  Beginning in the nineteenth century, laws, institutions, and theories justifying them began to position the criminal defendant in Egypt against a new concept of society in more extensive and subtle ways than had been the case previously.  These subtle and not-so-subtle shifts in the history of Egyptian society and their underlying social and ethical norms that reconstituted the criminal defendant within a modern Islamic society require further study.
In analyzing the historical record with an eye on the criminal defendant it is necessary to shed light on larger questions bearing on Egypt’s modern history.  Amongst these questions is that of Egypt’s autonomy in legal experimentation and possible legal ruptures from its Ottoman past.  To what extent did Mehmed Ali, Egypt’s controversial Ottoman governor in the early nineteenth century, put Egypt on a discernibly different legal trajectory than the one designed in Istanbul, the Ottoman imperial capital?  And how did the further institutional innovations that took place under British occupation beginning in 1882 and embodied in new European-modeled legal codes—both substantive and procedural—and their application further build upon or completely undo these early and middle nineteenth-century khedival changes in Egypt?  In the midst of these dynamic changes, most importantly, how did criminal defendants fare—both theoretically and historically—in this new and modernizing Egypt compared to prior periods? 

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