The Conscience Front announced on Saturday their support to amend the Judiciary Law, currently being discussed by the Shura Council.
The announcement came during a press conference held at the house of former Egyptian ambassador to Algeria and front member, Ibrahim Yousry where several figures of the front addressed judiciary-related issues.
In a statement read during the conference, the front claimed that the attacks on the Shura Council by judges aim to turn the constitution into a worthless document, where “freedoms are not granted and rights are not protected”. The statement added that the council should not refrain from doing its constitutional and legislative duties, and called on citizens and “honest judges” to support the council for being an elected body.
Furthermore, the Conscience Front condemned Judges’ Club Chairman Ahmed Al-Zind for calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nation’s Security Council to interfere in Egyptian political affairs, adding that such actions denote its author’s lack of patriotism and requires legal punishment.
Al-Zind, alongside other judges, are opposing amending the Judiciary Law, as it could decrease the retirement age for judges from 70 years to 60, forcing around 3,000 judges into retirement.
The front also called on the Shura Council to hold public hearing sessions on amending the judicial authority law and reforming the judiciary in general.
Mohamed Mahsoub, member of the front and former Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, asserted that the criticism pointed at the front will not distract it from reaching its goals and working for the interests of Egyptians. He added that calling on international organisations by some judges to interfere in the Egyptian state of affairs is unacceptable.
Mahsoub, who is also a leading figure in the moderate Islamist Al-Wasat Party, announced the front’s support of the Shura Council against attacks and criticism by opposing groups.
Essam Sultan, member of the front and vice president of Al-Wasat, said the judges’ refusal of amending the Judiciary Law is not related to the amendments’ details. Rather, he claimed that judges are refusing the very concept of approaching their status even by an elected body. Sultan further described the judges’ refusal as “interference in the work of the legislative authority”.
Mohamed El-Beltagy, a prominent member of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and member of the front, read a statement previously issued by the State Council’s Judges Club, where they called for amending judges’ retirement age to be at the age of 65 instead of 70. “I wonder why they are opposing such an action now.”
El-Beltagy added that the judiciary keeps interfering with the work of elected legislative bodies and elected President Mohamed Morsi. “And then they interfere in politics by calling citizens to mandate the army to rule the country and by calling up international actors to interfere in our national affairs,” he said. The FJP figure asserted the front’s respect to the judicial authority, and called on “honest judges” to refrain from partial actions.