Constituent Assembly court case postponed until December

Ahram Online and MENA, Tuesday 13 Nov 2012

Egypt's High Constitutional Court has postponed the case which deals with the constitutionality of the assembly

Egypt's High Constitution Court (HCC) postponed on Tuesday the case regarding the constitutionality of the Constituent Assembly until 2 December.

On 23 October, the Supreme Administrative Court referred the lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the Constituent Assembly, Egypt's constitution-drafting body, to the HCC.

The court is set to rule on the constitutionality of Article 1 of Law 79 for 2012 which deals with the criteria by which assembly members are chosen and the legality of permitting MPs to select those members.

In mid-June, the HCC declared the elected People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) null and void after ruling Egypt's parliamentary elections law – which regulated the legislative polls – unconstitutional.

Because the People's Assembly had appointed the hundred members of the Constituent Assembly, the legitimacy of the assembly itself came into question.

Several lawsuits were then filed challenging the constitutionality of the assembly and the mechanism for choosing its members.

The assembly is the second body to be formed. The first version of the body was dissolved by an Administrative Court ruling in June on the basis of its unconstitutionality.

The assembly has been trying to complete a final draft of Egypt's new constitution before the court rules on its dissolution, to avoid the need to form a new assembly and start the drafting process from scratch.

The March 2011 Constitutional Declaration states the charter must be put to a public vote within one month of the assembly approving the final draft.

According to legal experts, once the people vote for the new charter, no court can rule against the decision.

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