Constitutional committee not immune to court challenge: Egypt presidential advisor

Ahram Online, Tuesday 3 Sep 2013

Presidential constitutional advisor says there are no plan for immunising the committee amending the constitution from judicial appeal

The presidential advisor for constitutional affairs, Aly Awad, said on Tuesday that the Egyptian presidency has no intention of rendering a key constitutional immune from potential court verdicts that may lead to its dissolution.

“We are working in abidance with the constitutional declaration [of 8 July 2013] that set out the measures for choosing the 50-member committee,” said Awad. 

The membership of the 50-man committee, which will amend Egypt's suspended 2012 constitution, was announced on Sunday.

“If a lawsuit was filed to dissolve the committee, our defence will be in accordance with the constitutional declaration,” said Awad in an interview with Aswat Masriya.

Ousted president Mohamed Morsi caused controversy in November 2012 after he issued a constitutional declaration which included an article rendering the constituent assembly, at that time responsible for writing Egypt's new constitution, immune from judicial appeal.

The declaration also expanded Morsi’s powers and was seen by critics as undermining the role of the judiciary.

The new 50-member committee will examine amendments drawn up by a separate committee of legal experts formed in July, and will produce a final draft of the amended constitution within 60 days.

Interim President Adly Mansour will then put the constitution to a national referendum within 30 days of receiving the final draft. It will be effective upon public approval.

The 2012 constitution was suspended as part of a roadmap put forth by the Egyptian armed forces, together with political groups and religious figures, after former president Mohamed Morsi was ousted on 3 July following mass protests.

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