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Egypt’s High Administrative court says has no jurisdiction over Protest Law

The court said all state council courts have no authority to revoke the controversial law that has sent thousands to jail in the last two years

Ahram Online , Monday 1 Feb 2016
File photo: Protesters march through downtown Cairo on Thursday 10 April, 2014 to demand annulment of protest law (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt’s High Administrative Court declined to hear an appeal on Monday against the controversial protest law, citing “lack of jurisdiction.”

The court said all state council courts have no authority to review the law, reasoning that the 2013 law was a legislation proper and not an administrative decision.

The law was first challenged last year in front of a lower administrative court, which declined to rule in the case, opting to refer it to the high administrative court.

The law was issued in November 2013 by former interim president Adly Mansour in the absence of an elected parliament.

It stipulates that individuals must obtain a permit before protesting and punishes violators with heavy fines and prison sentences of 1-3 years.

The court's decision ignored a recent recommendation by the board of state commissioners in the high administrative court, which opined that laws/decrees issued by presidents, in the absence of the legislative authority of the parliament, are considered administrative decisions, and, as such, can in fact be appealed on the administrative level.

The commissioners' report recommended that the case be reheard in front of a different panel of judges in the administrative court.

Lawyers Hossam Karem and Hossam Mohamed filed both the original lawsuit and the appeal.

Thousands of Islamists and Muslim Brotherhood supporters as well as hundreds of non-Islamist protesters have been jailed for violating the legislation.

According to article 73 of the 2014 Egyptian constitution, citizens have the right to hold peaceful protests after notifiying the authorities.

However, the protest law stipulates that the interior minister has the right to ban protests it deems a threat to security.

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