Draft constitution marginalizes constitutional court: legal expert

The initial draft of the new constitution issued last week renders the Supreme Constitutional Court ineffective, said one of document's architects.

Constituent Assembly member Gaber Nassar, a professor of constitutional law, alleged during a Tuesday interview with Al-Arabiya satellite channel that some parties are looking for revenge on the court and are using the constitution-writing process to settle old scores, .  

Several assembly members “hate the constitutional court and want it to be removed entirely,” Nassar said.

Nassar said the court ensures commitment to the constitution and should be designated independent from other judicial bodies to carry out its role.

Cairo University law professor Rafat Fouda agreed with Nassar, saying, “The draft constitutions prepares for the eradication of the constitutional court.”

He added that it would be better to eradicate the court entirely than to keep it in tact with no powers.

The head of the court, Maher al-Beheiry, said Tuesday that the draft document is "a step backwards and a flagrant intervention in the court's affairs." During a press conference he said the court would remain in permanent session until amendments are made to provisions that "endanger the court's independence."

According to Article 184 of the new draft, the court would only be allowed to scrutinize proposed bills before they are passed by the People's Assembly. Legal experts believe the provision is at odds with the court’s primary role of ruling on the constitutionality of laws.

The court was subjected to severe criticism after it ruled in June that the Islamist-led People's Assembly should be dissolved because a law governing its election was unconstitutional.

Related Articles

Back to top button