El Sisi signs amendments to controversial amendments to Judicial Authorities Law
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed into law controversial amendments to theJudicial Authorities Act that grant him the power to appoint the heads of four major judicial bodies: The State Council (Maglis El Dowla), the Court of Cassation (the nation’s highest appeals court), the State Lawsuits Authority, and the Administrative Prosecution Authority. The law was published in the Official Gazette on Friday. El Sisi signed the amended law despite calls from the Judges Club of Egypt for him to veto the legislation, which many in the judicial branch of government denounced as unconstitutional, claiming that it curbs the independence of the judiciary. The issue came to a head last week after the House of Representatives passed the law without significant debate or discussion of numerous objections raised by Maglis El Dowla.
A court system divided? The State Lawsuits Authority and the Administrative Prosecution Authority are apparently playing ball, with the latter already announcing that it has submitted its three candidates (based on seniority) to the president, saying it was following the new law, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The State Lawsuits Authority will present its three candidates today, Youm7 reports, citing statements from its deputy head Rafik Sherif. Judges Club spokesperson Hazem Rasmy said the club will move forward with its planned general assembly meeting to vote on what to do next, implying that they may be joined by members of Maglis El Dawla.