Egyptian lawyer asks court to freeze constituent assembly

Ahram Online, Tuesday 31 Jul 2012

A human rights activist further knots up the controversial Constituent Assembly in the court system, filing a petition he hopes will stop the Assembly from continuing to draft Egypt's constitution

Naguib Gibraeel, a human rights lawyer, filed a legal petition on Tuesday at the Cairo Adminiistrative Court asking judges to immediately halt of all activities of the Constituent Assembly, which is responsible for drafting Egypt's new constitution.

Gibraeel argues the Assembly shouldn't continue its work since the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) is considering a case that challenges the legitimacy of the body altogether.

Meanwhile, the SAC is reviewing the petition filed by the Muslim Brotherhood lawyers to recuse the SAC judges from the case. On Monday, the SAC adjourned the recusal petition to 24 September.

The Brotherhood, as the majority in the now-dissolved lower house of the parliament that appointed the members of the Constituent Assembly, took up the task of defending the legitimacy of the constitution-drafting body.

The Brotherhood argue the panel of judges is biased, given that the SAC had previously ruled against the parliamentary procedure that formed the first Assembly, which was dissolved in April.

In June, the Supreme Constitutional Court declared that the law that regulated the elections of the lower house of parliament (the People's Assembly) was unconstitutional, leading to the military council to dismantle the legislative body in mid-June.

Since the lower house had chosen the second Constituent Assembly's 100 members, the legitimacy of this Assembly also came into question.

Short link: