Lawyer Essam El-Eslamboli filed a lawsuit at the Administrative Court against the recently ratified amendments of the Judicial Authority Law, which modifies the way of appointing the heads of judicial bodies.
The law was passed by parliament on Wednesday, after the approval of two-thirds of the members, and was ratified by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Friday.
In the lawsuit, El-Eslamboli requested the suspension of the enforcement of the law until the matter is fully resolved. He also suggested referring it to the Constitutional Court to check the constitutionality of its articles.
In his reasoning, the lawyer referred to constitutional articles related to the independence of the judicial system and the powers of the president and the parliament in the issuing of laws.
A statement published online rejecting the law was signed by around 62 public figures, including prominent law experts. They stated that not enough time was taken for the discussion of the law.
The recent months witnessed great controversy over the law between judicial bodies and the parliament. Judicial bodies believed that the law violates the independency of the judiciary.
According to Article 185 of the Constitution, the judicial authority is an independent authority, while the old Article 44 of the Judicial Authority Law stipulates that the heads of the judiciary councils are selected by judicial councils based on seniority and that the president only ratifies the councils’ selection of its most senior member.
The new law grants more power to the president in appointing the heads of judiciary councils, as the councils now present the three most-senior candidates to the president for selection.
Despite their opposition to the recently approved Judicial Authority Law, the Administrative Prosecution Authority, the Supreme Judicial Council, and the State Council agreed on respecting the law and stated that they would not participate in a general assembly. This general assembly was decided on by the Judges’ Club in order to discuss ways of escalation with all concerned judicial bodies.
The Judges’ Club is set to continue its struggle against the law without the other bodies, as the aforementioned authorities’ stance resulted in conflicts with the Judges’ Club over a general assembly.
As a way of expressing respect for the new law, the Supreme Council of the Administrative Prosecution Authority sent three names based on seniority to the presidency to decide on a head for the authority.
Abdullah Kandil, the head of the Supreme Council of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, said that they still reject the law, but respect the parliament’s and the president’s stances.
Also on Sunday, Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council said that it accepts the amendments to the Judicial Authority Law and decided on three of the oldest judges to be sent to the presidency for final decision.