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Amendments to Judiciary Justice Code A Disaster Threatening Egyptians Rights to be Tried Before their Lawful Judge & Subjecting Civilians to Trial Before Exceptional Military Judiciary

January the 30th 2024- Cairo 


 Amendments to Judiciary Justice Code A Disaster Threatening Egyptians Rights to be Tried Before their Lawful Judge & Subjecting Civilians to Trial Before Exceptional Military Judiciary


The Justice Support Foundation (JSF) affiliated with the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP) condemns and expresses its deep concern regarding the amendments accomplished yesterday to some provisions of the Military Judicial Law Which ravages the constitutional guarantees granted to the Egyptians regarding their right to be tried before a lawful judge and not before exceptional military judiciary, unless within the limits defined by the constitution 


Yesterday January the 28th 2024 the Egyptian Parliament issued amendments to the Military Judicial Law The amendments included the incorporation of the General Facilities Protection Law No 136 of 2014 which was issued to be applied for only two years abiding to exceptional conditions. The amendment added article no.5 first paragraph - item e to the jurisdiction of the military judiciary (crimes that fall on facilities public facilities vital as well as public property and its affiliates protected by the armed forces). This article opens the door to trying civilians before military courts, and has sparked a widespread controversy while issuing Law no 136 of 2014 especially that the formulation of the article is inaccurate and it can be used to expand the trial of civilians militarily according to the changing conditions


The Foundation also confirms that the protection of public facilities falls within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior which is a civilian Ministry. Public facilities, with its affiliates of roads and other facilities are civilian fields, and the crimes related to it have been included in the Egyptian Penal Code with adequate regulation to ensure their hearing before ordinary lawful judiciary without exposing civilians to military trials that are exceptional. In addition, this represents deprivation of the mandate of the ordinary judiciary in hearing cases that fall within its jurisdiction


The Foundation also confirms that this amendment that exposes civilians to the risk of trial before the military judiciary is considered a serious violation of Egypt international obligations because of its flagrant and clear violation of Article no 14-1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that Egypt ratified and has become part of the internal legislation and which stipulated that everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent independent and impartial tribunal established by law 


This also contradicts item no28 of Beirut declaration of justice which stipulated the natural - lawful judge alone takes over the ruling of disputes of judicial nature As well as recommendation No 8 of Cairo announcement of the independence of the judiciary in the Arab region which stipulated the necessity of canceling the exceptional legislation and courts restricting freedoms and the rights of individuals to resort to the natural law ful judge


The Justice Support Foundation at the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession calls upon the Egyptian Presidency not to ratify and publish these amendments that violate the rights of citizens to fair trial guarantees and to remove the specter trying civilians before military judiciary in crimes that are civil by nature 


Read the full statement