Poverty is a phenomenon affecting much of the world's population.
Beyond being a purely legal problem, poverty has become a
deliberating problem of class and a predominant condition of
'societal vulnerability' that stands in the way of the enjoyment of
basic fundamental rights that makes the emblems of equality and
human dignity to be nothing but an expression of 'rich man's law'
rather than 'human rights law'. This dissertation examines the
concept of poverty as both a condition of legal and societal
vulnerability with primary focus on the poor in Egypt. With
inequality being central to its functioning, the capitalist system
in Egypt has created a situation where the formally equal are both
socially and materially unequal in the enjoyment of rights,
benefits and most importantly protection. Poverty as a condition of
vulnerability creates a population at the margins of society and of
de facto law. With human rights law recognizing special rights for
'vulnerable groups', this dissertation calls for the recognition of
'the poor' as a vulnerable group in need of special rights to
realize the true essence of the equality of all before the law.
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