Egypt completes new draft of Criminal Procedure Code, setting limits on pretrial detention duration



Wed, 06 Mar 2024 - 07:28 GMT


Wed, 06 Mar 2024 - 07:28 GMT

CAIRO – 6 March 2024:  The Subcommittee on Drafting the Criminal Procedure Code has completed the preparation of a draft of the new Criminal Procedure Code, which established and amended a number of provisions, most notably setting a maximum limit on pretrial detention and reducing its duration.

The subcommittee formed to review the draft law submitted by the government amending some provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code held its last meeting, Wednesday headed by MP Ihab Al-Tamawy, undersecretary of the Council’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee.

In its meeting, the committee reviewed the final formulations of the articles of the draft law, and the rest of the postponed articles, most notably reducing the period of pretrial detention.

The committee agreed to reduce the duration of pretrial detention to 4 months instead of 6 months for misdemeanors, 12 months instead of 18 months for felonies, and 18 months instead of two years if the penalty prescribed for the crime was life imprisonment or death, and to set a maximum limit for pretrial detention by the lower-level criminal court. The second or the Court of Cassation in crimes punishable by death or life imprisonment to a maximum of two years instead of not restricting the terms.

Following the meeting, Speaker of the House of Representatives Hanafi Jabali, thanked and appreciated the members of the committee for their efforts throughout the committee’s work period, which exceeded 14 months, praising the provisions and precise formulations approved by the committee.

During its work, the committee included some provisions that are established in practice and jurisprudence in the existing law, and which do not conflict with current constitutional and social requirements and givens. In addition, it added new provisions required by the nature of the stage and development that Egyptian society is witnessing in all fields.

Among the most prominent provisions of the draft new criminal procedure law:

- Consolidating the authority of the Public Prosecution to investigate, initiate criminal proceedings; As its custodian, and the one with the inherent jurisdiction over it; Being a representative of Egyptian society.

- Compliance with the constitutional guarantees regulating the rights and freedoms of individuals, especially in cases of arrest, search of people, and entry and search of homes.

- Reducing the periods of pretrial detention, setting a maximum for them, and organizing cases of compensation for it; This will ensure that it is a precautionary measure and not a punishment, as well as approving alternatives to pretrial detention.

- Reorganizing the provisions of advertising in accordance with the technical and technological development witnessed in the modern world, by adding electronic means of advertising, whether e-mail or mobile phone, while maintaining the traditional means of advertising as a guarantee of the rights of individuals, and in a way that ensures the achievement of their certain knowledge.

- Regulating travel bans and prohibitions on acting; By court texts that take into account all constitutional guarantees that achieve their purpose, without at the same time impairing the right of individuals to freedom of movement, residence, or the protection of private property.

- Organizing investigation and trial procedures through electronic means.

- Providing effective protection for defendants, informants and witnesses; In order to ensure the proper conduct of litigation procedures, and to enable state agencies to combat crime.

- Adopting and consolidating the principle (no trial without a lawyer); This allows each accused to have a lawyer present with him, whether appointed by him or delegated by the investigation or trial authority, as the case may be, in coordination with the Bar Association. Establishing the right to defense.

- Activating the accused’s right to silence as one of the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution.

- Reorganizing the right to appeal judgments in absentia through opposition; In a way that achieves a balance between ensuring the right to litigation and guarantees of the right to defense. And ensuring the achievement of timely justice and the speedy adjudication of cases at the same time.

- Regulating the right to appeal judgments issued by the Criminal Court, within the framework of promoting and strengthening the right to litigation and the right to defense as well-established constitutional guarantees.

- Protecting the rights of people with disabilities; During the investigation, trial and penalty execution stages; By providing technical assistance and the necessary and appropriate means of access to them during these stages.

- Guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of convicts during the implementation of punishments within correctional and rehabilitation centers and places of detention.

- Organizing and caring for the rights of defendants suffering from mental or psychological illnesses; Whether during investigation, trial, or even during the implementation of the sentence

- Guaranteeing the rights of women and children; This is done by postponing the implementation of some penalties on pregnant women. In accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia and international agreements and charters.



Leave a Comment

Be Social