Egypt Parliament Reassures Judges: Shura Council Aims to Protect Judiciary Independence
Egypt Parliament Reassures Judges: Shura Council Aims to Protect Judiciary Independence
Sunday, May 26,2013 22:08

At its first session on Saturday, chaired by its Speaker Dr. Ahmed Fahmi, the Shura Council (SC) approved – in principle – the SC Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Affairs’ report on draft law proposals for amendment of some provisions of the Judicial Authority Law No. 46 of 1972.

Dr. Fahmi said: "The SC is looking forward to a timely session of the Justice Conference on the draft law referred to it. The SC believes judicial statures are attained after the age of sixty. In any case, the issue of age is a debatable topic; and we’ll await draft proposals yet to be submitted."

The SC Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Affairs report stated that the three draft amendments of the Judicial Authority Law submitted by Wassat Party, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), and the Construction and Development Party seek for judicial appointments to be based on merit, without favoritism, nepotism or clientelism, according to criteria of efficiency and scientific and academic qualification.

The report pointed that the amendments aim for equality among judges and prosecutors in all financial benefits and rights allocated for their counterparts in the Supreme Constitutional Court and the State Council, pursuant to the provisions of Article (170/1) of the Constitution, and in compliance with many judgments enforceable in this regard.

The report further pointed that amendments will provide health-care for members of the judiciary when they retire, and in cases of sickness or disability.

Meanwhile, proposals for retiring judges by the age of sixty seek to apply the rules of equality and justice, non-discrimination and equal opportunities provided in many of the articles of the Constitution.

For his part, Sobhi Saleh, SC member for the FJP, said: "Rumors about an SC vote on the Judicial Authority Law are inaccurate. The SC voted on a proposal for a draft law of the judiciary.

"There is no truth in reports that the SC discussion of the law now is a preemptive step to some action the Constitutional Court will take next Sunday (June 2)."

Moreover, Justice Hatem Begato, Minister of State for Parliamentary Councils, stressed that it is not the intention of the SC to massacre judges, and that things are heading to a breakthrough.

During a press conference Saturday, Justice Begato added that the three state authorities are working together to overcome the current crisis and misunderstandings, pointing that the SC Speaker Ahmed Fahmi’s address in Saturday’s session sent a message of reassurance to the judges.

"Dr. Fahmi’s assurance that the age of judges is a debatable matter is indeed a good gesture that will help resolve the problem.

"No attack on the judiciary and no massacre of judges will take place while I am still the Minister of Justice. What happened in Saturday’s SC session was in full compliance with the law and the Constitution.