Egypt's highest court joins judicial rebellion against Morsi

Egypt protest

`We are in a country without courts of law and a president with all the powers in his hands.

This is a clear-cut dictatorial climate,'' he said.

Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, a rights lawyer, said the strike by the judges will impact everything from divorce and theft to financial disputes that, in some cases, could involve foreign investors.

``Ordinary citizens affected by the strike will become curious about the details of the current political crisis and could possibly make a choice to join the protests,'' he said.

The Judges Club, a union with 9,500 members, said late Sunday that judges would not, as customary, oversee the national referendum Morsi called for Dec.

15 on the draft constitution hammered out and hurriedly voted on last week.

The absence of their oversight would raise more questions about the validity of the vote.

If the draft is passed in the referendum, parliamentary elections are to follow two months later and they too may not have judicial supervision.

The judges say they will remain on strike until Morsi rescinds his decrees, which the Egyptian leader said were temporary and needed to protect the nation's path to democratic rule.

For now, however, Morsi has to contend with the fury of the judiciary.

The constitutional court called Sunday ``the Egyptian judiciary's blackest day on record.

'' It described the scene outside the Nile-side court complex, where thousands of Islamist demonstrators gathered since the early morning hours carrying banners denouncing the tribunal and some of its judges.

A statement by the court, which swore Morsi into office on June 30, said its judges approached the complex but turned back when they saw the protesters blocking entrances and climbing over its fences.

They feared for their safety, it added.

``The judges of the Supreme Constitutional Court were left with no choice but to announce to the glorious people of Egypt that they cannot carry out their sacred mission in this charged atmosphere,'' said the statement, which was carried by state news agency MENA.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.