16 political groups to march against Judicial Authority law

Ahram Online , Sunday 28 Apr 2013

With Egypt's legislative body to deliberate on a new Judicial Authority Law, opposition plans a march to avert what they call a conspiracy to submit the judiciary under Brotherhood authority

Sixteen political parties and groups have called for a march to Egypt's Shura Council building at 5pm Monday to protest the newly-proposed Judicial Authority Law.

In a statement released Sunday the groups declared their unequivocal rejection of the law, which they point-blank described as a "conspiracy to submit the judiciary under the authority of the Muslim Brotherhood."

The Shura Council is expected to soon discuss the draft law regulating the performance of the judiciary, which is based on the 1972 Law 46.

If approved, the law submitted by the moderate Islamist Wasat Party will drop the retirement age for judges from 70, at present, to 60. This would result in the retirement of over 3000 judges. Some argue the current judges are biased and remnants of the old regime. On the other side, some believe the law aims to impede judiciary independence rather than purge the judiciary.

The statement argues that the Shura Council does not have the right to pass such a law, which is rather the task of the Parliament lower house (House of Representatives). When a court ruling found the lower house unconstitutional, the lower house was dissolved and legislative authority was controversially bestowed upon the Parliament Shura Council (upper house of Parliament).

The undersigned include the National Front for Justice and Democracy, the Egyptian Popular Current, the Free Egyptian movement, the Free Egyptians party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Constitution Party, the Justice and Freedom Youth movement, the Maspero Youth Coalition, the Shayfencom movement, the National Association for Change, the National Salvation Front Youth and the Baheya Misr feminist group.

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