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Inebriation and Intent: A Closer Look at Legal Defenses in Murder Trails

The principle is that anyone who voluntarily consumes a narcotic or intoxicating substance, with full awareness of its nature, is responsible for the crimes committed under its influence. The law applies based on complete awareness, implying the presence of criminal intent in offenses of a general nature.

However, there are certain crimes in which the law requires criminal intent on the part of the accused. In such cases, it is necessary to establish that the criminal intent was indeed present in the actions of the accused, and the court must provide evidence of its existence in its judgment.

Herein we refer to one of the cases where the accused, under the influence of alcohol, committed murder. The public prosecutor brought him to criminal trial and sought punishment for intentional homicide.

During the trial, the defense of the accused argued that, due to intoxication from alcohol, the accused was not responsible for his actions. However, the court did not accept this defense, stating that it may not be relied on. Consequently, the accused was convicted of intentional homicide.

A challenge was filed against the verdict, pointing out deficiencies in causation. The contention put forth was that an individual under the influence, devoid of sensation or choice, lacks the intent to commit murder. Whether the intoxicating substance was consumed knowingly and willingly or involuntarily, if it has impaired their senses and decision-making, they should not be held responsible for intentional homicide as the commission of the act necessitates the presence of criminal intent in the individual, and the court must establish this in its judgment. The court considered the defense insufficient, as indicated by the statement in the contested judgment: “this defense may not be relied on by the court.”

The Court of Cassation ruled to overturn the challenged judgment and stated that the court should have scrutinized this defense, elucidating the reasons for not accepting it. This is because it is a general defense that, if valid, would negate the accused’s intent to commit murder, as it is not justifiable to punish someone for intentional homicide unless they intended to commit the act and then consumed alcohol to encourage the execution of their intent.

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Condition for Compensation from Damages

Compensation is considered a means of restoration for an injured party. It may be monetary or an equivalent consideration for the loss suffered by the injured party, or opportunities missed as a result of the harmful act. Concurrently, it is a general penalty resulting from the establishment of civil liability, hence it is a means for the judiciary to mitigate the impact of the damage in question.

Although the purpose of ‘penalties’ in civil liability is to repair the damage which has occurred, and returns the injured person to their standing prior to the occurrence of the harmful act, the entitlement of ‘compensation’ shall revolve around the damage and its availability as a remedial act, without taking into account the gravity of act itself. Instead, a claim should be focused on quantifying the exact damage caused without increasing or detracting from it.

The injured party shall be entitled to compensation for all the damages it has suffered from the defaulting party, regardless of whether the claim is for material (monetary) damages, or moral damages such as psychological harm. To be entitled to compensation, the three pillars of tort liability must be fulfilled, as follows:

Moreover, the amount of compensation does not have to be specified by an agreement or legal articles to be entitled, as the compensation is ultimately dependent on the judge’s discretionary authority in order to derive the fulfillment of the above pillars which leads to liability, damage and the causal relationship between the two, as interpreted by the wider context of the case without supervision by the Court of Cassation.

The pre-discretionary authority in estimating the amount of compensation is restricted by the condition that the compensation is based on justifiable grounds, and resulting from proven elements and reasons which balance the basis of compensation, with the reason for imposing it.

Herein we refer to one of the cases initiated by our office, where Maher Milad Iskander, the attorney acting on behalf of the fiancé, filed a lawsuit against his fiancée, arguing that she is the reason behind the dissolution of the engagement resulting in moral and material damages as a result of the fiancée’s action. These damages were requested on the basis of the expenses and costs of the engagement ceremony, and the psychological pain suffered by the fiancé in attempts to salvage their relationship.
The court ruled in favor of the fiancé, obligating the fiancée to reimburse the expenses paid for the ceremony, and pay additional compensation to the fiancé.

The court, after examining the circumstances of the case, was able to identify the pillars stated above and therefore establish responsibility. Further, it was shown that the fiancé neither committed fraudulent nor damaging acts, but rather the fiancée was the one who caused the dissolution of the engagement.
Since any damage causing harm to third parties obligates the perpetrator to compensate the injured party, and the determination of compensation is subject to the discretionary authority of the relevant judge.
Finally, the court rendered its ruling, obligating the fiancée to pay the expenses in question, in addition to the attorney’s expenses since she lost the lawsuit.

Link to case

To conclude, this article aims to highlight that the assessment of damage and the determination of compensation is subject to the discretionary authority of the relevant judge.

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شرط التعويض عن الضرر

التعويض، هو مبلغ من النقود او ترضية من جنس الضرر بما يعادل ما لحق المضرور من خسارة وما فاته من كسب جراء الفعل الضار، كما أنه وسيلة القضاء في جبر الضرر والتخفيف من وطأته باعتباره جزاءً عام يترتب على قيام المسئولية المدنية.

وطالما كان الاصل من جزاء المسؤولية المدنية هو إصلاح الضرر وإعادة وضع المضرور إلى ما كان عليه قبل وقوع الفعل الضار، فان التعويض يدور مع الضرر وجودًا وعدماً، وذلك دون الالتفات لجسامة الخطأ ولكن تلائماً مع نسبية الضرر دون أن يزيد عليه او ينقص منه.

ويُستحق المضرور تعويضاً عن كافة الأضرار التي سببها له المسئول تجاهه، مستوياً في ذلك كونها اضراراً مادية تصيب الذمة المالية أو أدبية تمس الجانب النفسي والمعنوي؛ وتتحقق موجِبات التعويض بتوافر المسئولية التقصيرية مكتملة أركانها الثلاث؛ على النحو التالي:

ولا يتحتم في التعويض ان يكون مقداره معلوماً باتفاق أو نص قانوني حتى يُستحق؛ ذلك لأن التعويض من مسائل الواقع التي ينفرد بها قاضى الموضوع بسلطة تقديرية لاستخلاص توافر الخطأ الموجب للمسئولية والضرر وعلاقة السببية بينهما بحسب ما يرتآه من كافة الظروف والملابسات في الدعوى دون رقابة عليه من محكمة النقض.

ومناط ذلك أن يكون تقدير القاضي للتعويض قائما على أساس سائغ مردودًا إلى عناصره المثبتة وأسبابه التي يتوازن بها أساس التعويض مع علة فرضه.

ونشير هنا الى أحد القضايا التي باشرها مكتبنا، حيث اقام ماهر ميلاد اسكندر ،المحامى عن الخطيب، دعوى ضد الخطيبة اورد فيها انها قد تسببت فى فسخ الخطبة وان المدعى قد لحق به اضرار مادية أدبية جراء فعل المدعى عليها تمثلت فيما تكبده من مصروفات وتكاليف حفل الخطبة وما لحق به من آلام نفسية عاناها فى محاولات اتمام الزواج منها.

والمحكمة بعد ان استخلصت من ظروف الدعوى وقوع الفعل المكون للخطأ الموجب للمسئولية، قضت بالزام الخطيبة بمصاريف حفل الخطوبة والتعويض، وقالت ان الخطيب لم يرتكب غشاً او خطأً: وان الخطيبة هي المتسببة فى فسخ الخطبة، وان كل خطا سبب ضرر للغير يلتزم مرتكبه بالتعويض، وان تقدير الضرر وتحديد التعويض يخضع لسلطة قاضى الموضوع ….وانتهت المحكمة الى قضائها المتقدم والزام الخطيبة بالمصروفات والاتعاب ايضاً باعتبارها خاسرة الدعوى.

رابط القضية

الهدف من هذا المقال، أن تقدير الضرر وتحديد التعويض الجابر له من سلطة محكمة الموضوع مادام اعتمد فى قضاءه على أساس معقول.

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Personal Status Law Draft Bill 2022

The Personal Status Law constitutes a set of legal rules that regulate the relationship of individuals among each other, namely descent, marriage, kinship, birth, guardianship, custody, mutual rights, duties, and any dissolution that may result in alimony, custody, inheritance, and will rights.

Until now, families are caught up in suffering from crises of instability, impeded from moving forward as a result of issues and loopholes contained in the Personal Status Law’s provisions which led to the loss of both children’s and parents’ rights and long plagued the corridors of the courts and the judiciary.

Pursuant to the above-mentioned, the government submitted a new draft bill in order to amend the Personal Status Law provisions to overcome crises resulting from the current law. This bill included a wide range of articles related to marriage and divorce.

The aforementioned bill contained several provisions that attracted society’s attention, for example, but not limited to, in the event that the husband wishes to marry another woman, he must certify that matter in the court as an administrative procedure, which is done by summoning the first wife and informing her of such action; it has also granted the wife a right to choose to accept the current situation or to seek a divorce, preserving the marital and children’s rights resulting from a divorce action. Also, allocating 5% of social housing to homeless women.

Moreover, the bill grants the wife the right to seek divorce in the event she had no knowledge that her husband was already married, provided that the wife’s right to seek divorce shall be forfeited after a year upon knowledge of the other marriage, while preserving the right to seek divorce she becomes aware of another marriage within one year.

The proposed bill established a penalty for the offending husband of imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, a fine of no less than 20,000 Egyptian pounds and no more than 50,000 Egyptian pounds, or one of these two penalties, the same shall be imposed on the person authorized to certify such marriage “Ma’zoon” in case of not informing the other wife or wives of such new marriage.

It is worth mentioning that, the aforementioned bill also criminalizes the marriage of those who have not reached the age of 18, and it established an imprisonment sanction for a period of no less than three months and no more than one year for anyone who causes, contracts, approves, documents or witnesses the marriage contract of a minor under the age of 18, unless the such marriage is ordered by the competent judge, and the penalty may not be waived in accordance with any other law.

To conclude, the aim of this article is to highlight the government’s endeavor to prepare a balanced law in favor of all family members to manage and cure societal problems in order to achieve stability for all family members.

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مشروع تعديل قانون الأحوال الشخصية 2022

يشكل قانون الأحوال الشخصية مجموعة القواعد القانونية التي تنظم علاقة الأفراد فيما بينهم من حيث صلة النسب والزواج وما ينشأ عنه من مصاهرة وولادة وولاية وحضانة وحقوق وواجبات متبادلة وما قد يعتريها من انحلال تترتب عليه حقوق في النفقة والحضانة والإرث والوصية.

وقد باتت الكثير من الاسر عالقة فى ازامات عدم الاستقرار ومعوقة في المضى قدماً نتيجة اشكاليات وثغرات نصوص قانون الأحوال الشخصية؛ وما اسفرت عنه من ضياع حقوق الآباء والابناء وعُجت بها أروقة المحاكم وأجهزة السلطة القضائية.

انطلاقاً من ذلك، قدمت الحكومة مسودة مشروع جديد بشأن تعديل أحكام قانون الأحوال الشخصية لمواجهة الأزمات نتاج القانون الحالي،وجاء هذا المشروع متضمناً عددا واسعاً من المواد الخاصة بأحكام الزواج والطلاق؛

وترأست من بينه نصوصاُ عدة طالتها تساؤلات المجتمع ،على سبيل المثال لا الحصر؛ انه حال رغبة الرجل في الزواج بأخرى، يجب عليه توثيق ذلك الامر من خلال المحكمة كإجراء إداري وذلك باستدعاء المحكمة الزوجة الأولى وإعلامها بالزواج عليها؛ مخولاً لها حق الاختيار كحق أصيل مع الحكم بما يترتب على الطلاق من حقوق الزوجية وحقوق الأولاد؛ وتخصيص 5% من الإسكان الاجتماعي للمرأة بلا مأوى.

كما انه قد اعطى الزوجة الحق فى أن تطلب الطلاق إذا لم تكن تعلم أن الزوج متزوج، على ان يسقط حق الزوجة فى طلب الطلاق حال العلم بالزواج الاخر ومضى عليه عاما كاملا،مع الاحتفاظ بالحق فى طلب الطلاق كلما علمت بزواج اخر وذلك خلال عاما كاملاً.

وقد قرر مشروع القانون المقدم عقوبة الحبس للزوج المخالف، مدة لا تزيد على سنة وبغرامة لا تقل عن 20 ألف جنيه، ولا تزيد على 50 ألف جنيه، أو بإحدي هاتين العقوبتين مماثلاً لُه فى العقوبة المأَذون المختص حال عدم التزامه وابلاغ زوجته أو زوجاته بالزواج الجديد.

كما انه جرم تزويج من لم يبلغ من الجنسين 18 سنة ميلادية كاملة، معاقباَ بالحبس مدة لا تقل عن ثلاثة أشهر ولا تزيد على سنة لكل من تسبب أو عقد أو وافق أو وثق أو شهد على عقد زواج قاصر دون سن الـ18 عامًا، ما لم يكن ذلك بأمر القاضي المختص، كما لا يجوز التنازل عن العقوبة وفقًا لأي قانون آخر.

الهدف من هذا المقال؛ هو سعى الحكومة لإعداد قانون يراعي المصالح المتعددة لجميع الأطراف ويكون متوازنا يعالج المشاكل الأسرية والمجتمعية لتحقيق الاستقرار الاجتماعى الاسرى.

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