Judges for Egypt outlined the importance of amending the current Judiciary Law and praised the controversial judiciary bill to be approved by the Shura Council.
The moderate Islamist Al-Wasat Party submitted a draft bill proposing to lower the retirement age of judges from 70 to 60 in an effort to eliminate what it said was corruption in the judiciary. The bill created a crisis between the judicial, executive and legislative authorities.
In a press conference held on Sunday, Judges for Egypt spokesperson Waleed Al-Sharaby called on the Shura Council to speed up the issuance of the amended Judiciary Law.
“The people elected you,” Al-Sharaby said, addressing the Shura Council members, “they did not elect the judicial authority. If you do not fulfill your duty, you will be held accountable by God.”
Al-Sharaby said that people have been calling for providing younger judges with opportunities ever since the breakout of the 25 January revolution. He added that the current Judiciary Law includes several errors and is in dire need of being amended. Al-Sharaby cited articles 119 and 44 as articles which provide the president with absolute power over the judiciary.
“The current Judiciary Law was drafted by the former regime to provide the president with extraordinary powers,” Al-Sharaby said. “Doesn’t such a law deserve amendment?”
Al-Sharaby accused Judges’ Club head Ahmed Al-Zind of unjustifiably siding against the amendments to the law. Judges for Egypt member Mohamed Abdel Hameed accused Al-Zind of creating clashes between different authorities in Egypt.
“Any state is built upon three pillars; legislative, judicial and executive authorities,” Abdel Hameed said. “The well-being of those pillars depends on separation of power. It’s not possible for one authority to legislate its own laws, as what the judiciary is trying to do now.”
Abdel Hameed criticised what he described as executive decisions being destroyed by the judicial authority.
“The judicial and legislative authorities have been simultaneously granted to nobody but Allah,” Abdel Hameed said. “Even when Pharaoh tried to claim both authorities for himself, he was punished by God.”
Group member, Mohamed Awad, stated that all givens prove that the judiciary is overstepping its authority. “Some judges yearn for the days of the former regime,” he said. “They neither want democracy nor elections.”