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Egypt's parliament, judiciary face off against each other

The Egyptian parliament is currently discussing a draft law to amend judicial law, which legal experts say will infringe on the judiciary’s independence.
An Egyptian policeman stands guard outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo on February 25, 2015 during a court session to determine if the House of Representatives parliamentary election law is constitutional. Egypt's Constitutional Court said it will rule on March 1 whether the country's election law is constitutional, a verdict that could alter the schedule of the upcoming parliamentary polls. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI        (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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CAIRO — The 2014 Egyptian Constitution guarantees the independence of the judiciary and protects it from the interference of any other authority. And, according to Article 184, “The judiciary is independent. It is vested in the courts of justice of different types and degrees, which issue their judgments in accordance with the law. Its powers are defined by law. Interference in judicial affairs or in proceedings is a crime to which no statute of limitations may be applied.”

However, a bill that contradicts this constitutional text was recently proposed to parliament. On Dec. 13, Undersecretary of the parliamentary Legislative Committee and member of parliament Ahmed al-Sharif proposed a draft law related to the appointment of the heads of judicial committees. According to Youm7 newspaper, the draft law stipulates, “The president shall appoint the head of the Administrative Prosecution Authority from among three senior judges that the authority’s Higher Council nominates; the head of the State Lawsuits Authority from among three senior judges that the Higher Council nominates; and the head of the Cassation Court from among three senior judges that the Higher Council nominates.”

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