At the end of a plenary session on Tuesday, Egypt’s parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal surprised MPs by revealing that the government has referred amendments to laws regulating the performance of the Supreme Constitutional Court and other judicial authorities to parliament.
"The amendments of these laws will be discussed by the constitutional and legislative affairs committee," said Abdel-Aal, also revealing that a government-drafted law on the setting up of the Higher Council for Judicial Authorities was also referred to the constitutional and legislative affairs committee to be discussed.
The list includes the law regulating the Supreme Constitutional Court (no.48/1979), the Administrative Prosecution Authority (law no.117/1958), the Military Prosecution (law 25/1966), the Judicial Authority (law no.46/1972), and the State Council (law 47/1972).
Bahaaeddin Abu Shoqa, chairman of the committee and head of the Wafd Party, told reporters on Wednesday that the amendments of the above laws aim to go in line with constitutional amendments which were passed by parliament on 16 April and approved in a public referendum on 23 April.
"As you all know, some of these constitutional amendments require the amending of legislations dealing with judicial authorities, the performance of the State Council, the Supreme Constitutional Court, the General Prosecution and military courts," said Abu Shoqa.
"As a result, the committee will meet to see how the laws go in line with the amendments."
The constitutional amendments covered 12 articles of the constitution, four of which (articles 185, 189, 190 and 193) deal with judicial authorities, the setting up of a high council for judicial authorities, the selection of the prosecutor-general, the State Council and the naming of the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
The amendments also covered three articles pertaining to the performance of the Armed Forces, one of which (Article 204) states that civilians can face trial before military courts only in cases of assaulting military establishments, military camps, military zones and borders, military equipment, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, documents, secrets, funds and army factories.