Judges Call for a Strike

Raw erupts inside the Judges’ Union upon the Justice Minister’s insistence not to preview them with the latest amendments introduced to their long-prepared bill of Judiciary Power. 
In a meeting held between Mahmud Abu el-Lail, the Justice Minister, and the union’s director board, the judges criticized the oppressing approach of the government to make amendments that spoil the judiciary independency and turning it into a government body.
Enraged, more than four thousands of the union’s members lodged requests to stage a full strike; in an attempt to press the government for respecting the judges’ will.
The union’s director board decided to be on session till the meeting of its General Assembly on March, 17th, that will consider deterrent measures towards the governmental coercion.
Al-mesryoon is informed that the union passed a decision demanding the government to cancel all legislations that authorize judges to monitor elections. In addition, the director board studies a motion calling for an extraordinary meeting for the GA to discuss techniques of facing the government procrastination concerning the bill.
Another proposal has been submitted to the union suggesting a symbolic sit-in in the union on the same day in which the government refers the bill to the parliament. It may turn into an open strike via reporting it at courts then gathering in the union.
Some judiciary sources remarked their worry over the government oppression that is severer than that of 1969 where the regime adopts a curbing policy towards judges to shaken their independency.
Hesham el-Bastawisy, the deputy of the Cassation Court, said the minister’s stance reflects the government intention to nationalize the union turning it into a state-governed institution. The amendment introduced to the bill is considered a massacre for judiciary.
El-Bastawisy pressed the public for supporting judiciary since violation of its independency will affect them harmfully.
The president of Alex Judges’ Union, Mahmud el-Khadary, said the government oppression comes as a punishment for judges who have resisted ballot rigging. Owning the majority of the parliament, the government will pass the bill, unheeding to judges’ demands. In this respect, he urged the MPs to hinder the governmental conspiracy on the judiciary independency, saying judges will not pass by any procedures to force government respecting their will.
In its meeting, the union criticized the Supreme Judiciary Council which dispatched the bill to the Justice Ministry without previewing the union. Such action violates the council’s authority which restricted to give opinions on bills.  It moreover referred the bill to the Justice Ministry secretly despite it should be put forth for a public discussion.
The union remarked that this secrecy provokes rumors and suspicion that the government wants to confiscate the judges’ right to express themselves. The bill, amended by the council, includes items that put the union under the control of the council and hinder holding its General Assembly meeting.  
The union called on the announcement of the original bill and its amendments. It repeated its refusal to replace putting the union under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Affaires with that of the Supreme Judiciary Council, affirming that supervision, in itself, violates the judiciary independency.