Archive for January, 2013

The following is a clip I translated from Reem Maged’s excellent ONtv program, Baladna bel Masry, dealing with the ongoing confrontation between members of Egypt’s prosecution and Talaat Ibrahim Abdullah, President Morsi’s appointee for Attorney General. It outlines plans drawn up by members of Egypt’s prosecution to escalate their campaign to force Abdullah to resign. Abdullah has been under siege from members of Egypt’s prosecution since he was appointed, even offering to tender his resignation because of the uproar before retracting it. Members of the prosecution, who say that since the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) did not nominate Abdullah, his appointment was illegal. The SJC agreed and issued a joint statement last saturday with the Egyptian Judges’ club saying that Abdullah should step down.

For extra reference, this Arabic article also summarizes the results of the Judges’ Club meeting and this piece quotes Hassan Yassin saying that the work stoppages will be insignificant because so few members of the prosecution support them.

The ongoing confrontation between Egypt’s combative corps of judges and the components of the Judiciary that are still connected to the Executive through appointments and other incentives is important because it could play a role in determining how the legal system interprets many of the vague articles in the constitution concerning personal freedoms and religion. As I mentioned in a previous post, many Egyptian judges do not hold a particularly liberal view of personal freedom and the role of religion in public life (i.e. Shadi Khalifa in the video intends to pursue a complaint against the Attorney General for “insulting” members of the prosecution), but they have a point of view that is decidedly more inclusive than the more exclusionary Islamists among the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi movement. A more independent judiciary will serve as a bulwark against more strict interpretations of the constitution. If the executive succeeds, however, in gaining significant leverage over the legal system, then likely significant Islamist majorities in the coming years will lead to a significant curtailment of personal freedoms and a harsher implementation of what they regard as Islamic law.

Apologies for any mistakes I may have made in the translation, let me know if you catch any!

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