While they could hardly not report on it, I sense a lack of enthusiasm in Saudi media’s reporting on the clash between Egyptian President Morsi and the Egyptian judiciary. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though, as an independent judiciary with powers to review laws is not at all part of the Saudi political system. Reporting tends to cast this conflict as simply a power struggle… who gets to tell whom to do what. It’s far more than that.

An independent judiciary is crucial to justice. At present, Morsi hold the office of Executive; his party dominates the Legislature. The only thing that stands between them and tyranny is the judiciary and the Egyptian system of law. By declaring that he is able to make and enforce law, either overriding or side-stepping legal process, Morsi does indeed declare himself tyrant. Calling him the “New Pharaoh”, as his opponents are now doing, is exactly correct. He is seeking to remove the last check on his power short of revolution.

It is not enough that Morsi has lots of supporters, even a majority of Egyptians. He is still bound by law as written in Egypt’s constitution. With the power and popularity he has, he might well be able to amend the constitution, stripping it of the protections it offers to Egyptians and their rights. That is not what he has done, however. Rather, he has just claimed the power to act as he will.

Al Arabiya TV:

Egypt’s Brotherhood calls for protests, judges urge for strikes
Al Arabiya with AFP

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called for protests across the country on Sunday to support President Mohammed Mursi, while the country’s judges urged for a nationwide strike against a decree they saw as granting Mursi new, extensive powers.

The Brotherhood’s protest requests came as Egypt’s Judges Club, a body that represents judges throughout the country, called for “the suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations,” after several hours of emergency talks in response to what they called Mursi’s “ferocious attack on Egyptian justice.”

On the ground, clashes erupted outside the High Court between supporters and opponents of Mursi’s new constitutional declaration while the Judges Club held an hours-long emergency meeting inside.

Saudi Gazette:

Judges furious at Morsi decree

CAIRO – Egyptian judges Saturday slammed a decree by President Mohamed Morsi granting him sweeping powers as “an unprecedented attack” on the judiciary, and courts across two provinces announced a strike.

The constitutional declaration is “an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings,” the Supreme Judicial Council said after an emergency meeting.

The council, which handles administrative affairs and judicial appointments, called on the president to remove “anything that touches the judiciary” from the declaration.

Meanwhile, the Judges Club of Alexandria announced “the suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations in the provinces of Alexandria and Beheira.”


November:25:2012 - 08:18 | Comments & Trackbacks (4) | Permalink
4 Responses to “Reporting Morsi’s Challenge to Justice”
  1. 1
    Susanne Said:
    November:25:2012 - 09:16 

    sad!!

  2. 2
    Solomon2 Said:
    November:25:2012 - 21:33 

    What is worse is that the Egyptian liberals are feeling betrayed by the Obama Administration’s silence on the matter. They feel Obama will never turn against Morsi no matter what he does since Obama helped him into power in the first place and the U.S. prefers dictators to democracies.

  3. 3
    John Burgess Said:
    November:25:2012 - 22:31 

    @Solomon2: Well, we can hope the secularists wake up and discover that the military might make a better ally than an enemy. If Morsi succeeds, Egypt is well and truly screwed. And the next 50 years of American history is being written before our eyes.

  4. 4
    Solomon2 Said:
    November:25:2012 - 22:46 

    You’ve got it backwards, John. The secularists are aware that the military’s plan from the beginning was to ally with the Brotherhood to squeeze out the democrats. They told us demonstrators in D.C. that rather plainly back in 2007, years before Mubarak actually fell from power. So it’s the military that has to decide whether to accept the Brotherhood yoke or not.

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