At least two political parties have announced that they will be protesting outside the Shura Council on Saturday announcing their rejection of the council’s discussion of proposed amendments to the judiciary law.
The legislature had announced that it will be discussing the controversial bill on Saturday, 25 May. The Egyptian Social Democratic Party announced that it will hold a demonstration outside the legislature. “Under the circumstances that the nation is going through, the Muslim Brotherhood insists on discussing the judiciary bill in the Shura Council…If it is passed, it will literally be a judges’ massacre,” the party said.
The Social Popular Alliance Party has also called on its members and the general public to take part in a protest “to send a strong message of rejection of the draft law which the presidency and the Brotherhood insist on putting forward and approving without real community discussion and without judges’ participation…”
The Reform and Development Party said its members of the Shura Council will withdraw from the sessions in which the amendments to the judiciary law will be discussed. The party said the decision comes in objection to rushing the bill and “forcing it” despite its clear unfairness to the rights of judges.
The party added that there is no pressing need to pass the law at this point in time. Head of the party, Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, called on the council to discuss only urgent laws related to citizens’ lives, as the council is considered a “temporary legislative authority.” He suggested postponing discussions of laws like the judiciary law and NGO law until the House of Representatives is elected.
The proposed amendments to the judiciary bill have been at the centre of a heated debate. The Judges’ Club said in a general assembly in April that it will treat the amendments as if they did not exist. Yet, Judges for Egypt recently outlined the importance of amending the law. The group also praised the controversial amendments.
The Judges’ Club announced on 15 May that it will boycott the Justice Conference which President Mohamed Morsi had called for after the proposed amendments stirred controversy. Its decision was prompted by the Shura Council’s announcement that it will discuss the bill on 25 May.
The conference includes judges, members of judicial authorities and clubs as well as legal experts, professors and lawyers. The participants are tasked with drafting their own judiciary bill which the president promised to endorse when presented to the Shura Council.
Political parties had called for protests against the amendments in April.