The Legislative Reform Forum in Damietta calls the Parliament for enacting new laws for parties , press and judiciary

July 1st, 2008 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization For Human Rights (EOHR) held 3 workshops on political parties , press freedom and judiciary authority in the framework of “Legislative Reform Forum “ which supported by the European Union at Dar Al Hekma in Damietta on Monday 30/6/2008 . Participants called for the necessity of activating the role of legislative parliament through expediting the enactment of new laws for political parties ,press and judiciary authority .They called for providing  adequate guarantees for the  independence of  judiciary and press freedom .

  

As for the first section related to “ Towards a new law for political parties “ Dr. Anis A l Baiaa , vice –chairman of Al Tagamou party , confirmed that the problems of the political parties in Egypt is represented in the weak funding , the absence of interior democracy  , besieging the headquarters of parties  ,besides the  non-participation of citizens in political parties because of their deep concern of bad circumstances of living and the weakness of public culture in the society  and the interior weakness of the partisan system .He called for amending the legislative system for partisan life .  

 

Dr. Saad Amara ,member of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate , called for canceling the parties court and giving the administrative judiciary the decisive right to establish parties and the need to exchange authority through the political parties  ,establishing parties through notifying the administrative side and not depriving  Any of the political and community forces of their right to establish parties in accordance with the law.

 

In the second section related to the independence of the judiciary , Mr.Hatem Al Baiaa , lawyer at cassation court , confirmed that the independence of judiciary will be effective if the Supreme Judiciary Council is freed  from the executive authority  .He indicated that the independence of judiciary from the executive power is not absolute because both of these two authorities are moving in the heart of the State .Despite independence , the executive authority appoints ,delegate and seconded judges . Also Article 93 of judiciary law gives the Minister Of Interior the right to administrative supervision over the all courts . Also despite the independence , the judiciary practices its right to monitor management works . So the principle of independence for the three authorities for the State doesn’t mean the full separation from each others , but each authority has the right to monitor the other to work within the law.

 

Mr. Fakry Al Adham  , lawyer at cassation court , confirmed the fact that any system should include the principle of separation and balance between authorities , but the practical situation in Egypt refers to the contrary  , since the revolution of 1952 , judiciary authority has exposed to several violations through revolution court ,people’s court and military courts . The revolution worked on tighten the grip around the independence of judiciary as it established a special courts and restricted the authority of State Council and public Prosecution .In 1969 judiciary massacre was occurred by giving up 200 members of judiciary bodies . During the regime of president Sadat, despite the arrival of political and economical system contrary to Abdel Nasser system, the government  continued  to lack the independence of judiciary as Sadat deliberately kept the form with empty content .He returned back the fired men to their position but he didn’t give them further power .

 

As for the third section related to the freedom of opinion and expression , Mr.Mohamed Basal , Al Nahar newspaper editor in chief ,confirmed that in 2004 president Mubarak promised to cancel the negative punishment for freedom in journalists’ cases , but this promise has not shed its way to implementation .He added that there are several restricted laws imposed on the freedom of opinion and expression in general and the freedom of press in particular including Emergency Law and Press Law No.96 of 1996 .

 

Mr. Samir Al Fil , member of the Egyptian  Writers Association , focused on the freedom of the internet . He indicated that logging to the internet in Egypt made a wide movement in the spread of the electronic press which gave a broad space to bloggers to express about their opinions freely .He condemned the government of its attempt to restrict the internet through jamming on some sites and perhaps permanently closed down and crush the participants and charging them with some crimes .

 

At the end of the workshop , participants recommended the following :

1-     Political parties :

 

       Enacting a new law for political parties.

       Reconsidering the composition of political parties committee to include judicial members .

       Reconsidering the way to finance political parties .

       Strengthen the mechanisms of democratic practice within political parties.

       Encouraging citizens to join political parties and increasing political education.

 

2-     The judiciary power

 

       The need to amend the Constitution in its article that stipulated the President of the Republic is the President of the Supreme Council of Judiciary  which contrasts with the formation of the Council which stipulated that the chief of cassation court is the chief of the Council of Judiciary  .

       Setting a decisive and accurate standards applied to all related to what belongs to judges away from the competence of the President as he is considered the chief of the executive authority .

       Providing a special guarantees for judges to ensure a better life and environment compared to the rest of society groups as they are considered the ideal example for the citizen.

       Activating decisions issued by judiciary power as they considered one of the guarantees for the independence for judiciary .

       Canceling special courts as they considered a violation against the independence of judiciary and respect for citizen.

       Equality among the same legal positions of judges  and equality in the assignment .

       Raise the level of scientific and practical training for judges .

 
3 – The Press

 

       Implementing the presidential promise to cancel the negative punishments for freedom in publishing cases .

       Providing the legal protection for bloggers .

       Calling bloggers for upgrading their writings and contribution is needed strongly in achieving the credibility of their works .

       Calling for the freedom of bloggers so actually it equals the freedom of journalists to write free and prevent the prison sentence .

 

It is worth noting that this workshop comes within the framework of the legislative reform forum established in January 2007 supported by the European union and includes professors of constitutional laws and some partisan leaders and members of People’s assembly and human rights activists .

 

 

This forum aims at amending the national legislations in accordance with the international standards for human rights stipulated in the international covenants concerned with human rights which were ratified by the Egyptian government through suggesting new bills imposed by the nature of the present situation and go a long with the international standards for human rights . As well as pressure to abolish such restricted laws which violate the civil  work, and finally discuss the bills submitted to the People’s Assembly and Shura Council and invite experts  for comment, to be submitted to  the president of republic and the president of  People’s Assembly and Shura Council.

 

 

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