CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified on April 27 the legal amendments approved by the Egyptian parliament, allowing him to select the heads of four judicial bodies from among the various candidates for the first time in the history of the judiciary. Before the ratification, the general assembly of each body would submit the candidate for its presidency itself. This raised questions about the future of the Egyptian judiciary, namely whether or not the judiciary will consequently lose its independence.
The amendments were aimed at “the heads of the Egyptian State Council, the Court of Cassation [highest criminal court in the country], the Administrative Prosecution [Authority] and the State Lawsuits Authority,” and came in a new law issued by Sisi a day after the approval by the Egyptian parliament. However, the judges opposed the law, saying it undermines the judiciary’s independence and the separation of authorities, thus sparking a debate between the members of parliament.