Morsi met with the heads of all the judicial authorities in the presidential palace and agreed to sponsor a “Justice Conference”, inviting the judges to plan it at the palace starting Tuesday, presidential spokesperson Ehab Fahmy said.
The president told judges he respects them and their independence, agreeing to their demand that they be the ones to draft the new judiciary law.
The Supreme Judicial Council will hold the Justice Conference in which all judges will be invited to contribute to one or more judiciary bills that the council will then present to Morsi who will pass it on to the Shura Council to discuss and pass.
The heads of the Court of Cassation, Supreme Constitutional Court, State Council, the different courts of appeal, the State Litigation Authority, the Administrative Prosecution and the Military Judiciary all attended the meeting.
The current judiciary bill being discussed in the Shura Council, parliament’s upper house, is now dead, the government’s representative in the council told Aswat Masriya.
“The Shura Council does not have the right to draft legislation on the judiciary, only the House of Representatives can do that. Now that President Morsi said he would personally adopt the bills coming from the judges themselves, the council has to drop the bill it is currently discussing,” Deputy Minister of Justice Omar Al-Sherif said.
The moderate Islamist Al-Wasat Party had submitted a draft bill proposing to lower the retirement age of judges from 70 to 60 in an effort to eliminate what it said was corruption in the judiciary.
The proposal followed a protest near the High Court building that the Muslim Brotherhood organised with the demand of “cleansing” the judiciary.
A general assembly of the Judges’ Club met at the High Court building on Wednesday and voted to reject any such amendments to the judiciary bill after sending a warning to the Shura Council.