Leadership Council for Human Rights

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Egypt: Cabinet Summoned for Justice Reform

As reported by AKI, the Egyptian cabinet will meet in extraordinary session on Wednesday to approve the final draft of a controversial judicial reform bill which would create a judiciary completely independent from the executive power. According to Judges Club members, the government is blatantly ignoring the magistrates request for a democratic reform because that would mean that the executive would have to give up absolute power.

Even more evident is the fact that the government has not allowed any members of the Judges Club to review this final draft of the judicial reform bill. This has led many to believe that the final draft will not include the innovative independence the magistrates are demanding: instead, it will just be an empty law.

According to this piece,

“The Egyptian cabinet has been summoned in extraordinary session for Wednesday to approve the final text of a much awaited judicial reform bill. The government, which met last week, had decided to send the bill back to the legal committee to resolve some controversial points. 'The committee met three times in the past seven days' government spokesman Madi Radi told daily Al-Masri al-Yom, ‘to find an accord on reforming a delicate sector like the magistrature. We are certain that this time there will not be any problems.’

"The Judges Club, the body which has the role of a trade union for magistrates and which has waged a battle with the executive over the independence of the judiciary, said it had not yet received any copy of the law which the government is preparing to present to the chamber of deputies.

"'The bill currently under discussion does not respect the positions of the judiciary' said Nagi Darbala, deputy president of the Supreme Court and Judges Club member. 'The fact that we have not been given the chance to examine the text before it is presented to parliament is a clear violation of our independence’ Darbala added.”

To read this article in full, click here


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