Egyptian Parliament - YOUM7 (Archive)
CAIRO - 6 April 2017: Egypt’s supreme judiciary bodies are at loggerheads with the House of Representatives over a new bill that broadens the president powers in regard to the judiciary authority.
The Legislative Committee of the House of Representatives
new amendments to four laws regulating the supreme judiciary bodies on March 27; per the amendments, the president would have the right to appoint the heads of the Court of Cassation, the Administrative Control Authority (ACA), the State Council and State Lawsuits Authority.
The draft amendments will be collected in a law titled ‘Electing Heads of Judiciary Authorities.’ The amendments also stipulate that the president has the right to choose one out of three candidates usually nominated by the councils of the judiciary bodies for the judicial presidency,
. The three candidates should be deputies of the outgoing chairpersons.
In judicial authority’s legal norm is for the judiciary body’s council to elect the oldest appointed judge as president.
The Judges’ Club declared its rejection of the amendments, saying they contradict the Egyptian Constitution which stipulates that “the judiciary is independent,” per
More than 600 judges of the State Council held a general assembly meeting and refused the amendments, saying, “the legislative authority should respect the Constitution and uphold the basic principles, particularly the principle of separation of power.”
The Council members announced their adherence to their legal norms,
. Judge Yahia Dakrory, State Council Vice-President, would normally be elected for the presidency of the Council; however, via the amendments, he could be out of presidency. Dakrory was the presiding judge of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) that annulled
of Tiran and Sanafir between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
House of Representatives Speaker Abdel Aal stated that if the bill had violated the judiciary’s independence it would have been rejected.
Lawyer Samir Sabri filed a lawsuit before an Administrative Judiciary Court to oblige Ali Abdel Aal to stop discussing the controversial bill,
However, Legislative Committee member Ahmed El Sharkawy told Egypt Today on Tuesday that a court ruling is not binding on the parliament, which is governed by only the constitution.
He added that the House of Representatives has notified the judiciary bodies on the new amendments, which they rejected.
“However, the bill could be unconstitutional because the Parliament did not take [into account] the judges’ opinion which should be taken into consideration per Articles
of the Constitution,” said Sharkawy, who abstained from voting on the bill in the committee. The Parliament should abide by the principle of separation of power, he continued.
In response to a question about what are the constitutional articles upon which the bill was passed by the committee, lawmaker Tharwat Bikheet told Egypt Today that the bill does not violate the constitution and is based on many articles, although he did not cite any specifically.
“The House of Representatives shall come back to wisdom,” constitutional law expert Shawky al-Sayed told Egypt Today, noting that the crisis should be resolved by the parliament.
Additional reporting by Ibrahim Qassem