Assessment of Media Legislation in Egypt

Egypt’s New Constitution of 2014 is central to the process of democratisation and the enhancement of freedom of expression and freedom of the media. However, most of Egypt’s old and restrictive legislation is still in place, which creates an uncertain legal landscape and slows progress. Recent events have highlighted the critical importance of reviewing and amending media legislation. In this report, we have assessed the legislation on market entry and concluded that the 2014 Constitution provides a sounder basis than previously for the provision of a new licensing system that supports freedom of expression as well as freedom of the media and the press.

Thus, it represents a major step forward. However, without clear and detailed guarantees on the organisation, functioning and competences of the proposed Supreme Council for the Media and its regulatory powers, the current legal environment could lead to a new, but still undemocratic, system of governance and regulation for broadcasting, print and online media. This risk is greater while the old rules of the Press Law remain in force