Egypt: constitutional crisis
Recently proposed amendments to Egypt’s constitution that significantly increase the president’s authority were attacked earlier this week by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) yesterday.
Under the new provisions, President Mohamed Morsi’s decisions would be given immunity from challenge or review until a new constitution is ratified and parliamentary elections are held next year. ‘By preventing any legal challenge to his decisions until the election of a new lower house of parliament next year, the president has effectively placed his office above the law,’ said IBAHRI co-chairman Sternford Moyo, a former president of the Zimbabwe Law Society.
The amendments also remove the judiciary’s power to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, which is responsible for drafting the new constitution and the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council. A ruling on the legality of the Constituent Assembly and Shura Council is expected to be handed down by Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court in December.