The Supreme Administrative Court chose its session on 21 April to make a decision regarding appeals against the suspension of elections to the lower house of parliament.
In its 14 April session the court decided to rule on the State Litigation Authority’s appeals next week. The authority had submitted appeals on behalf of the presidency, Shura Council, and the Supreme Electoral Commission.
The court adjourned the case during its last session in order to receive confirmation from the presidency and government that they had tasked the State Litigation Authority with filing appeals.
The State Commissioners’ Authority, an advisory body working with the court, issued a report recommending the court reject the appeals. The commissioners’ authority’s report is not binding for the court.
The Administrative Judiciary Court ruled to suspend elections for the House of Representatives in March and referred election laws to the Supreme Constitutional Court.
The administrative court suspected the election laws were unconstitutional and referred them to the Supreme Constitutional Court for review.
The laws, drafted by the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, were initially sent to the Supreme Constitutional Court before passing and being signed into law by President Mohamed Morsi, as per the provisions of the constitution.
Article 177 of the constitution states that the Supreme Constitutional Court has power to deem laws unconstitutional and reverse them except for electoral laws, for which it only gets prior review.
Parliament is supposed to send the draft law to the court before voting on it to determine its constitutionality. The court then returns the draft law back to parliament, and if it deems the draft unconstitutional attaches the required amendments.
The Shura Council did send the law to the Supreme Constitutional Court, which in turn determined it unconstitutional and attached the required amendments.
Shura members of parliament amended the drafted election law but failed to return it to the court to ensure the amendments fall in line with its ruling, instead referring it to President Morsi, who immediately signed it into law and called for elections.
Opposition groups denounced this move and argued that the Shura Council should have sent the law back to the Supreme Constitutional Court a second time to ensure the amendments fell in line with the court’s vision.
A lawyer and Shura Council member from the Ghad Al-Thawra Party filed a case with the Administrative Judiciary Court against Morsi and Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmy, arguing the elections would be invalid and unconstitutional if the Supreme Constitutional Court did not deem the election law constitutional.
The State Litigation Authority appealed the court verdict in an attempt to have the elections go through. The Shura Council decided to draft new election bills, however, in order to circumvent the long court process and hold elections sooner.
Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Fahmy referred the new laws to the Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday.