Egypt’s HCC rules against Shura Council, Constituent Assembly and Emergency Law

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Egypt’s High Constitutional Court ruled on Sunday, June 2, that the upper house of parliament ‘Shura Council’ and a panel that drafted the new constitution are invalid.

The Court ruled that the law governing the election of independent members of the Islamist-dominated Shura Council, currently holding legislative powers, was illegal.

As a result of the ruling, the Shura Council will be dissolved but the ruling also said that it would not be dissolved until a new House of Representatives, lower house of parliament, is elected.

Both the upper and lower houses were elected under the same electoral law, which the HCC last year deemed invalid, prompting the dissolution of parliament.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Wael Hamdy Al-Saeed, lawyer, filed complaint against the Shura Council:
“The two articles 2 and 8 that governed the election of the Shura Council of law 120, for 1980 and its amendments were the same two articles regulated the elections of the lower house of the parliament which the Constitutional Court ruled on 2012 their unconstitutionality, hence, since this time the Shura Council also was illegal.”

The court also ruled the unconstitutionality of a Law, popularly known as the emergency law. While the law is currently not in effect, the two complaints against it claimed it could be used at any time by authorities to impose a state of emergency.

For his part, Essam El-Erian, vice-chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said that the Shura Council is currently the only legislative authority and it would continue its duty until the elections of a new parliament.

Muslim Brotherhood lawyer said that the decision to postpone the dissolution was based upon article 230 of the new constitution.

Other Freedom and Justice Party figure said that the Shura Council should approve a new law governs the election of independent MPs to Shura Council before holding a new House of Representatives.

SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) - Mahmoud Abou Elenin, Muslim Brotherhood lawyer:
“The fourth item of the verdict postponed the dissolution of the Shura Council until the elections of a new House of Representatives and it is based upon article 230 of the new constitution. The Constitutional Court didn’t base on its decision to postpone the implementation of the verdict on the law of the Constitutional Court but based on the constitution, hence it admits that this constitution is existed.”

The court also ruled the law governing the composition of the Constituent Assembly, the body tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution, is unconstitutional.

It was not immediately clear whether the ruling on the 100-member constitutional panel would cancel the charter it drafted. The constitution was adopted in a nationwide vote in December. President Mohamed Morsi declared the Constituent Assembly immune from dissolution in a controversial constitutional declaration last November.

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: June 2, 2013 + (Archive footage)
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: June 2, 2013
Length: 00:02:12
Video Size: 108 MB
Language: Arabic
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera: VCS

SHOTLIST:

  1. Various shots of the Egypt’s High Constitutional Court
  2. SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Wael Hamdy Al-Saeed, lawyer, filed complaint against the Shura Council:
    “The two articles 2 and 8 that governed the election of the Shura Council of law 120, for 1980 and its amendments were the same two articles regulated the elections of the lower house of the parliament which the Constitutional Court ruled on 2012 their unconstitutionality, hence, since this time the Shura Council also was illegal.”
  3. Various external shots of the Shura Council
  4. Various shots of one of the sessions of the Shura Council
  5. SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) - Mahmoud Abou Elenin, Muslim Brotherhood lawyer:
    “The fourth item of the verdict postponed the dissolution of the Shura Council until the elections of a new House of Representatives and it is based upon article 230 of the new constitution. The Constitutional Court didn’t base on its decision to postpone the implementation of the verdict on the law of the Constitutional Court but based on the constitution, hence it admits that this constitution is existed.”
  6. Various shots of the ceremony where President Mohamed Morsi received the new constitution from head of the Constituent Assembly
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