Judges’ Assembly Sticks to Own Attitude, Faces Gov’t-Vetted Judges
The Egyptian Judges” Club wrapped up the emergency general assembly that the board of directors summoned on April, 29, 2007, to discuss its response in case the People”s Assembly approved the judiciary law which is rejected by the club and a big number of judges.
There were expectations that the judges will hold a march from the downtown-based club to the presidential palace in Abdeen.
However, counselor Zakariya Abdul Aziz, the head of the club excludes the proposal at the beginning of the assembly, saying:” A number of suggestions were presented by counselors, including holding a march to Abdeen Palace but we saw that we, the judges, do not go to any one and the one who presented the suggestion, retreated”.
The assembly started with counselor counselor Zakariya Abdul Aziz who detailed the changes resulting from the judiciary law from 1986 and suspiciously extending the age of retirement every period of years until 2007, despite previous confirmations from the presidency and the People”s Assembly speaker themselves that the age of retirement won”t be extended; the counselor added ” Extending the retirement age violates rights of the younger judges while the aged judges who do only administrative jobs, and the younger judges don”t benefit from their experience “.
A number of consultants delivered speeches, in which they confirmed their rejection to extending the retirement age and criticized the government decisions in approving laws starting from the constitutional amendments and establishing a military court of cassation.
The assembly went on smoothly till the turn of counselor Magdi Abdul Razek came and his speech was at odds with all previous speeches; he criticized strongly inviting satellite TV channels to broadcast the event inside the club and said that no judge all over the world appears on a satellite channel, rejecting that judges speak about politics, raising the anger of a number of judges against him.
After he finished his speech, counselor Zakariya Abdul Aziz criticized his speech and said, commenting on Magdi”s:” This may not be happening in the world because what happens against the judges in Egypt isn”t happening against judges all over the world” adding that ” Mr. Magdi is seemingly saying this because he is from among the circle of Moqbel Shaker, chief justice of the Court of Cassation and he is at odds with the Judges” Club attitudes”.
The final recommendations of the assembly included the judges” full support to the club”s board in taking the decision which it sees as necessary, in addition to a call for holding another general assembly in the near future to study a reaction, including a possible refusal to attend trial sessions in case the process of marginalizing the judges is maintained; the assembly was wrapped up with observing a moment of silence inside the club to express their rejection to the law.
It is worth mentioning that the Judges” Club in Egypt has had famous attitudes against riggings committed in 2005 legislative elections; two well-reputed judges were referred to a disciplinary board due to their testimonies that the elections were rigged.