In the history of modern Arab law, one figure stands head and shoulders above the rest: Abd al-Razzaq al-Sanhuri. A legal modernizer at a time of transition in Egypt’s history, Sanhuri sought to reconcile the various sources of Egyptian law – Ottoman, French, Islamic – in one harmonious system.
Over a career spanning five decades, he authored the Civil Codes not only of Egypt, but of several other Arab countries as well. In particular, the Egyptian Civil Code issued in 1949 has served as the model for the civil codes of practically all Arab countries.
Influential as these various codes may be, it is Sanhuri’s Medium Commentary on the New Civil Code (al-Wasit fi Sharh al-Qanun al-Madani al-Jadid) that has become the “standard reference on civil law for all lawyers in the Arab world.”
A massive work of 10 volumes, Sanhuri’s Wasit provides a detailed explanation on all aspects of the Egyptian Civil Code, from the man most familiar with how and why it was drafted the way it was.
His authoritative and nuanced discussion means that no lawyer or judge can afford to ignore what Sanhuri has to say on a given topic, and it is rare for a legal brief or court ruling not to quote, or at least be informed by, Sanhuri’s treatment of the question at hand.
Following the Civil Code’s general thematic organization, the volumes of the Wasit are divided as follows:
Abbreviated Table of Contents (see below for full)
Volume 1 General Theory of Obligation: Sources of Obligation
Volume 2 General Theory of Obligation: Proof and Effects of Obligation
Volume 3 General Theory of Obligation: Terms, Assignment and Extinction
Volume 4 Contracts Relating to Ownership: Sale and Set-Off
Volume 5 Contracts Relating to Ownership: Deed of Gift, Company, Loan, Perpetual Annuity and Conciliation
Volume 6, Tome 1 Contracts Relating to Usufruct: Lease and Loan-for-Use
Volume 6, Tome 2 Contracts Relating to Usufruct: Lease and Loan-for-Use
Volume 7, Tome 1 Contracts Relating to Provision of Services: Contracting, Agency, Deposit and Sequestration
Volume 7, Tome 2 Aleatory Contracts: Contracts of Gaming, Betting, Life Annuity and Insurance
Volume 8 Right of Ownership, with a Detailed Explanation of Objects and Property
Volume 9 Modes of Acquiring Property, with Dismemberment of the Right of Ownership (Usufruct and Servitude)
Volume 10 Personal and Real Securities
At Industry Arabic, Sanhuri’s Wasit has not escaped our notice. In our years of high-level legal translation for a range of clients, one reference has been requested for translation time and again – Sanhuri’s Wasit.
As part of our commitment to excellence in Arabic-English legal translation, we’ve decided it’s time to put out a full English version of this vital reference. This is no easy task.
Translating the Wasit’s 12,000 pages of highly technical legal terminology would be the challenge of a lifetime for a single translator. Fortunately, thanks to the work of our team of outstanding legal translators over the years, we already have significant chunks of the Wasit translated. And now we just need to fill in the rest.
Need a section of Sanhuri’s Wasit in English ASAP? Check with us.
We may already have that section translated and ready to send out at a moment’s notice.
Then for sections that we haven’t translated yet, we’re offering a discounted rate for all requests to translate excerpts from the book, no matter how big or small.
Contact us here for a quote.
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