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Egyptian Justice Minister Proposes Anti-Judicial Independence Bill
Egyptian Justice Minister Proposes Anti-Judicial Independence Bill
Egyptian Justice Ministry has put the final touches for a new bill for the judiciaries. This bill has been proposed by Justice Minister Mamdouh Marie.
Sunday, November 25,2007 14:41
by Mohamed Ismail IkhwanWeb
Egyptian Justice Ministry has put the final touches for a new bill for the judiciaries. This bill has been proposed by Justice Minister Mamdouh Marie. The new bill gives the executive authority- or the government- more control over the judiciaries in a way many see as an attempt from the Egyptian government to undermine the independence of the Egyptian.
For example, the new bill imposes sanctions on judges who speak with the media and adds more restrictions on the immunity of the judges.
Many analysts described this bill as the most serious attack against independence of the Egyptian justice. For his part, Judge Mahmoud Makki, the deputy chief justice of the Court of Cassation, confirmed that the bill is disappointing for the judges community because it is a reminiscent of the 1969 massacre of the justice. During the 1969 massacre of the judges, the patriotic judges decided to study why the 1967 military defeat took place. After anatomizing the crisis, they attributed the defeat to the deterioration of internal conditions and the wide-scale spread of corruption in our society. A statement was issued at that time by the Judges" Club, the legitimate representative of the judges community, to the regime which didn"t expect any advice. This actually led to the massacre of the justice in which laws no. 82 and no. 83 of the year 1969 allowing the formation of the Supreme Council for Judiciary Authorities which resembles in all its defects the current Supreme Council for Judiciary Authorities. The most prominent decisions at that time were appointing a new group of judges and dismissing dozens of judges who were rejecting and condemning corruption, later dubbed as the judges massacre.
Makki saw that the current atmosphere in Egypt is similar to what happened in 1969. although there is no military defeat in Egypt but we are- practically speaking- witnessing dozens of defeats from enemies inside homeland, including a collapse in the political life, the spread of corruption, the deteriorating economy, a social deterioration. Add to these other setbacks in freedoms and in the constitutional amendments which are actually stripping citizens of their rights. We-the judges community- confronted these phenomena but led to the regime"s harassments against the judges and freedom of speech. Makki sees that the proposed bill is similar and even identical to the judges massacre and the then notorious legislations which were called also a judicial reform although they were actually dealing a death blow to the judiciary. The same is taking place at the time being as the proposed bill gives the president the power control over the judiciary.
According to this proposed bill, the president or his representative controls the judiciary. His representative is definitely the Justice Minister who may head all judiciaries in the absence of the president. This is actually very serious because this means that the executive authority and the ruling party control the budget, promotions, transfers and everything related to the justice. This actually at odds with the promises that President Mubarak mentioned in his election program. It also fully eliminates the judicial independence.
Makki confirmed that this the bill is unconstitutional but we live under a regime that doesn"t respect the constitution. For example, the constitution gives civilians the right to stand trial in front of their civilian and competent judge but we find that civilians are transferred to the military tribunal. Makki sees that the biggest loser- due to this bill- is the ordinary citizen who will lose the last guarantee to protect his rights.
Judge Mahmoud Al Khodairi sees that this law- if implemented- will dash all judges" hopes for attaining independence from the executive authority. He sees that the weakest point in this the bill is that those taking reigns of the affairs of the judges aren"t judges, according to this bill, leading to undermining their simplest rights because only judges understand the nature of the job of a judge.
Al Khodairi agreed with Makki that this bill is unconstitutional and that it is a kind of punishment that the regime imposes against the judges because they refused the the constitutional amendments which the executive authority approved. Al Khodairi expects a new battle will erupt between the judges and the Egyptian regime so that the judges can get their simplest rights, independence.

Posted in Judges Activites , Reform Issues , Judges Activites , Reform Issues  
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