Judges Soften Rhetoric in Their Conflict with Government

In what some suggest  as an attempt to ease tension with  the ruling regime, the judges emergency general assembly reached a middle ground solution by issuing a statement read out by chief justice Zakaria Abdul Aziz in which the judges announced they do not adopt the position of  this or that political faction, affirming that judges shy away from politics. The statement also highlighted that the general assembly still holds firm to the bill formulated by the Judges” Club on  judiciary authority, calling on the Egyptian members of  Parliament to observe the nation”s interest when they discuss the government “s bill on judicial authority which the PA  is due to discuss in its session slated Saturday now that the Two Houses have approved it.

The statement also demanded the government to allow judges to manage their own affairs. Chief Justice Zakaria Abdul Aziz lashed out at the government”s bill, saying it doesn’t live up to the judges ambitions  even after the amendments made therein.

It is worth mentioning that the number of the judges who attended the urgent general assembly meeting was less than the past times, which some judges attributed to the attorney general “s decision to prosecute those who would participate. However, chief justice Ahmed Saber outspokenly said that the judges will continue to escalate their campaign against government”s proposed bill until full independence of the judicial authority materializes, affirming that international judicial bodies-such as the Italian Judges Club-supports the Egyptian judges stance.

In the same context, chief justice Mahmud el Khodary denied any rifts among pro-reform judges, attributing the refraining of the judges club from staging on a sit in, after the government has presented its judiciary reform bill, to the timing only, citing the summer vacations and presence of  judges outside Cairo as well as preoccupations of some others .