Judges push back against Morsi

New York Times News Service /


Published Nov 25, 2012 at 04:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

CAIRO — The association of judges here called Saturday for courts across Egypt to suspend all but their most vital activities to protest an edict by President Mohammed Morsi granting himself unchecked power by setting his decrees above judicial review until the ratification of a new constitution.

The judges’ strike, which drew the support of the leader of the national lawyers’ association, would be the steepest escalation yet in a political struggle between the country’s new Islamist leaders and the institutions of the authoritarian government that was overthrown last year. As it spills into the courts and the streets, the dispute also increasingly threatens to undermine the credibility of Egypt’s political transition as well.

A council that oversees the judiciary denounced Morsi’s decree, which was issued Thursday, as “an unprecedented attack on judicial independence” and urged the president to retract parts of the decree eliminating judicial oversight.