Morsi's declaration to go to Administrative Court

Ahram Online and MENA, Monday 26 Nov 2012

Appeals challenging Morsi's declaration to be looked into on 4 December by Cairo's Supreme Administrative Court

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) will look into twelve lawsuits filed against President Morsi's recent constitutional declaration on 4 December.

On Thursday, Morsi issued a decree making all his decisions immune from legal challenges for a six-month period. The decree also protects the Islamist-led Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution, and the Shura Council (the upper house of parliament) from dissolution by court order.

Morsi's surprise decree prompted uproar among the opposition, who described it as an attack on democracy and a threat to judicial independence. Thousands demonstrated against the move on Friday in Cairo and several other governorates.

The lawsuits filed argue that presidential decisions are "administrative" rather than "constitutional", and accordingly are appealable and could be overseen by the judiciary.

One of the lawsuits was filed by head of the Judges Club Ahmed El-Zend; Zend's case demands the termination of the constitutional declaration issued by the president, arguing that the decree violates laws and constitutional norms. The lawsuit also accuses the president of "misusing his powers" through his attempts to render his decisions legally untouchable.

The appeals filed further argue that the president, as head of the executive authority, cannot issue any constitutional announcement without putting it to a nationwide referendum.

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