Last Update 14:26
Thursday, 20 September 2018

Egypt's highest court strikes down SCAF decree banning clemency

Amendments from 2012 had barred judges from downgrading punishments for unlicensed weapons cases - which court says is unconstitutional

Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Nov 2014
Adly Mansour
Former interim-president and head of the Constitutional Court Adly Mansour (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1549
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1549

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court on Saturday ruled that a decree issued by the country's military council barring judges from downgrading punishments in cases related to unlicensed weapons was unconstitutional.

In 2012, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power in Egypt after the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, issued a decree amending two articles of the weapons and ammunition law.

The amendments included exempting crimes mentioned in the law from article 17 of the penal code, which stipulates how clemency may be doled out – such as in lowering death sentences to life imprisonment, or prison terms becoming specific detention periods, for example.

But the Supreme Constitutional Court, headed by Judge Adly Mansour – who was Egypt's interim president following the July 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi – ruled that judges must be allowed to downgrade punishments as they see fit, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

"The state of law is where the rights and freedoms of each citizen are guaranteed by and independent, immunised judiciary," the court said in its Saturday ruling, adding lowering sentences is a judge's right.

As such, taking away that right violates judges' independence – and also several articles of Egypt's constitution, the court ruling said.

The issue with the SCAF amendment began when two persons were recently arrested in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour on charges of possessing an unlicensed machine gun.

Damanhour Criminal Court argued that the amendments were unconstitutional, and passed them for review to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.