CAIRO: Ministry of Justice’s legal specialists expressed concerns that the committee formed by the ministry to present a new draft law to the People’s Assembly (PA) would delay it to the next parliamentary round.
The committee assigned by the ministry to work on a new law for specialists’ authority was heavily criticized by specialists as they had already drafted a law that they were promised would be presented to PA last November.
The committee is set to finish the draft law on March 3 and present it to parliament shortly after.
“Specialists said that if the ministry has already formed a committee despite the existent draft law, then they don’t want to end the crisis but I insisted and I still believe the committee will keep its promise and finish its work by March 3, Mohamed Daher Hussein, head of legal specialists’ club said in a press conference at the Lawyers’ Syndicate.
“We only want them to present anything to the parliament and we will be able to manage the case from there, he added.
Specialists staged strikes for four months, demanding the cancellation of periodic book number eight which allows them to examine case files only inside the courtroom and obligatory appointment at courtrooms.
They were also calling for an amendment to Law 96/1952 as well as better pay and work conditions.
Protests were suspended after PA speaker Fathi Sorour pledged to adopt the new specialists’ law personally and guaranteed that it would be introduced at the next parliamentary session that started November 2009. He also promised to have the PA’s legislative committee examine any controversial ministry decisions the specialists were objecting to.
The PA’s legislative committee said the Ministry of Justice’s decisions that sparked the legal specialists’ crisis were “illegal and urged the ministry to present the new specialists’ law to the parliament in November, bringing a four-month crisis to an end.
The ministry however decided to form a committee to issue a new draft law.
“All our demands and required amendments were objected to by the ministry’s committee, Mahmoud Qobeisy, vice president of Alexandria’s specialists office told Daily News Egypt.
“They refused providing protection to specialists, establishment of specialists’ authority and the new wage system was left up to the accordance of ministry of finance, he added.
According to Qobeisy, the ministry is still unrelenting towards obligatory appointment at preliminary courtrooms decisions and is asking specialists to “do in the court what they usually do at offices.
Specialists are also asking for the establishment of a health and social fund financed by specialists’ trustee who they say “never benefit from it. However, the committee suggested that the ministry would finance the fund.
The ministry had agreed on the new incentives system and started applying it since last October but it ignored, according to specialists, an article in the executive law of the system linking the incentive to achievement compared to the number of cases at a given office not specifying a general achievement rate for all offices.
“Some offices have no cases while others are crowded with cases so it will be unfair to ask a specialist to work on 20 cases to receive the incentive while the office has 10 only. No one will pay for the expenses of sending a specialist to another office in another governorate, Hussein said.
Incentives are only paid for “working specialists while those in administrative positions do not receive it.
According to their area of expertise, specialists’ are consulted on technical aspects in civil and commercial cases, and their feedback is essential in reaching a final verdict.
“We are only asking for our rights and if the committee doesn’t finish the draft law by the March 3, then we will have another say, Hussein said.