CAIRO: The Supreme Court Council rejected several female applicants who wished to join the judiciary through a position in prosecution, despite the primary approval of the court to appoint female judges.
The Minister of Justice Mamdouh Marei said in an article published in Al Akhbar newspaper on Dec. 5, 2006, that the Supreme Court and the Supreme Council for Judicial Affairs have already approved the concept of appointing women as judges in 2003, when Tahany El Gebaly, the only Egyptian female judge, was appointed to the Higher Constitutional Court.
Marei said that women will be appointed after going the required implementation steps. He asserted that they will be appointed on merit and excellence, he was quoted as saying in Al Akhbar.
Nasser Amin, president of the Arab Center for Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP), told The Daily Star Egypt that on Dec. 26, 2006, the Supreme Court had given preliminary approval to a letter sent by the minister of justice to start appointing women in the prosecution.
However, on Jan. 13 when (ACIJLP) requested admission applications for female graduates of the class of 2006, the Supreme Court Council refused to even give them the forms, despite the fact that the applicants met the criteria required by the court.
Said Amin: We requested admission applications for a number of outstanding female graduates of Cairo University’s faculty of law. We started applying according to the annual admission announcement on Jan. 5. The graduates met the requirements set by the Supreme Court, but still the court said, no girls are allowed to apply.
This, he stressed, is a step back by the minister of justice and the Supreme Court. “Our center will file a lawsuit against both of them.
According to sources at the ministry of justice, no official ministerial decision to appoint females was issued, however appointing females may be implemented starting next year.
Mayada Aly, one of the female applicants, told The Daily Star Egypt that she knew her application to join the general prosecution was going to be rejected, but that she will “definitely apply for an administrative post .
Magdy Al Husseiny, father of Doaa Al Husseiny, another rejected female applicant who was not available personally, said the Supreme Court refused his daughter’s application.
But he stressed that she will reapply when the Supreme Court publishes its annual announcement targeting graduates with passing academic records.
Mohamed Aly, a researcher at (ACIJLP) who joined the female applicants when they were requesting the applications, said employees at the department of the prosecution admissions at the Supreme Court told him they had no official instructions to hand out forms to women; nor had they even heard of the court’s intention to do so.