Egypt's modern legal system was initially developed in the 19th Century and was modeled after the French civil code system (Napoleonic Code). Over the course of time, various modifications and adaptation were introduced to produce the current Egyptian version of the French system. Several other countries of the Arab Middle East have modeled their legal systems after that of Egypt.

Egypt's Civil Code governs the areas of personal rights, contracts, obligations, and torts. Other supplementary laws include the Commercial Code and Code of Civil Procedure.

Civil litigation in Egypt features two levels of litigation (two trials of fact), plus an appellate level. Small claims cases are tried before a single judge, with a right to de novo appeal to a panel of three judges from the Court of First Instance. Larger claims originate with a panel of three Court of First Instance judges, with a right of de novo appeal to a three-judge panel of Court of Appeals judges. Appeals from the Court of Appeals are limited to legal issues, and are conducted before the Court of Cassation, which is the highest court of Egypt's common court system.

Due to the long court litigation delays caused by a crushing (and steadily growing) backlog of civil cases, plus weak mechanism for enforcing court judgments, large commercial disputes are often resolved through arbitration, as governed by the Arbitration Law (Law 27 of 1994).

Many of Egypt’s civil laws have been made available (in Arabic) on the Egyptian government’s services portal: http://www.egypt.gov.eg/english/laws/default.aspx

It is difficult to find publicly available, non-copyrighted English translations of the Civil Code and other civil laws. Fairly good and fairly current English translations of the Civil Code and many other civil laws and regulations are available for purchase at very reasonable prices from The Middle East Library for Economic Services, located in Cairo. Presumably, they will mail copies to customers in foreign countries.

A very useful reference on Egyptian civil procedure, in English, is the 128-page book by Fathi Waly (former Dean of the Cairo University Law School), Civil Procedure in Egypt (Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International, 2011).