UPDATED: Egypt's Judges Club head appointed new justice minister

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 May 2015

The previous justice minister resigned last week over comments that were widely seen as classist

President of Egypt's Judges Club Ahmad Al-Zend (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The head of Egypt’s Judges Club, Ahmed El-Zend, has been appointed justice minister, the presidency said in a statement.

El-Zend made his constitutional oath before President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday morning.

Last week, justice minister Mahfouz Saber resigned from his position over comments that were widely seen as classist.

Minister of Transitional Justice Ibrahim El-Heneidy had taken charge of the ministry until the appointment of a new minister.

El-Zend was a key player in a conflict in 2013 between the judiciary and Islamist parties over proposed changes to the judicial powers law. The amendments, which were not passed, would have seen the retirement age of judges reduced from 70 to 60, effectively forcing a quarter of Egypt's serving 13,000 judges into early retirement.

It wasn't El-Zend's first battle with Islamists. In December 2012, he announced that Egyptian judges would not be on hand to supervise a constitutional referendum for a charter drafted by an Islamist-dominated parliament under the rule of Mohamed Morsi.

In January 2014, a bomb was found outside El-Zend’s house.

The Judges Club is an unofficial, powerful body that represents over 90 percent of Egypt's judges.



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