Judges assert rejection of draft law, changing selection process for heads of committees

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Egypt’s judges on Sunday reaffirmed their opposition to amending the Judicial Authority Law, a draft currently being looked into by the parliament.

In a Sunday meeting of the State Council’s Judges Club, judges said that the amendments, which change the standard method of selecting the heads of judiciary committees, is an interference with judicial independence, state-media reported.

Head of the club, Samir El-Bahy, reportedly said that judges call upon President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to intervene in order to prevent an escalation of the conflict between the legislative and judicial powers, according to state media.

The report added that a number of lawyers, including the head of the Lawyers Syndicate, Sameh Ashour, and members of parliament (MPs) who reject the amendments attended the conference in support of the judges. MP Haitham El-Hariri commented on the event on Facebook by saying that “judicial independence is in danger.”

Meanwhile, Minster of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan said that there were no intentions to reduce the retirement age of judges from 65 to 60, according to state media, but controversy continues to surround the suggested amendment, which would allow for the president of the republic to have a stronger say in the designation of heads of judicial committees.

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