Egypt: The constitutional court’s ruling regarding military trials for civilians is a first step not an endVictor Nageh
Egypt: The constitutional court’s ruling regarding military trials for civilians is a first step not an end
Geneva, 14th November 2017
Military trials against civilians
“Committee for Justice” said that the latest ruling by the constitutional high court regarding the public establishment protection law and the different Egyptian courts specializing in enforcing the law on the accused, which resulted in the referral of 1300 civilians to military trials in Egypt is an interesting “first step” that must be noted and worked on seriously so that the ruling’s requirements are applied by the military courts on the hundreds of civilian cases assigned to the military justice in Egypt.
The constitutional court issued its ruling regarding case number 33, year 38, judicial dispute, case number 34, year 38, judicial dispute and case number 35, year 38, judicial dispute, publishing it in the official gazette, issue number 42 repeated b, on the 23rd of October 2017, which clarified the conditions controlling the specialization of the military court in prosecuting civilians according to the public establishment protection law as three conditions:
Firstly: The crime committed represents a direct assault on a public facility, establishment or property.
Secondly: The assault takes place while the armed forces is actually, not reportedly securing and protecting the public facility, establishment or property in question.
Thirdly: The act committed is against the penal code or the regulation rules of the public facility, establishment or property in question, considering it as the general penal code in that regard, and upon which the criminal liability according to the civilians who committed such acts is decided.
The constitutional court emphasized that if none of the above mentioned conditions are present in the crime, its investigation and trial must remain within civilian justice alone, as it is its jurisdiction to separate crimes, except ones that are excluded by a special document and redirected to another judicial front.
“Committee for Justice” added that the latest ruling completely expunged the previous attorney general Hesham Barakat’s ruling number 14, the year 2014 under which he ordered the different prosecutions to retroactively transfer hundreds of cases to the military court regardless of the illegality of such procedure.
“Committee for Justice” previously pointed out in their report “No Line to The Horizon to End Systematic Oppression” which is a detailed report based on the study of 50 cases of the military court against civilians in Egypt in which there was no way of litigation, and was published last April, that the attorney general Hesham Barakat’s ruling drastically affected the legal rights of the accused in a number of cases by retroactively transferring civil cases to the military justice in opposition to the legal and judicial principles that deal with this such matters.
“Committee for Justice” calls for the military courts in Egypt to rapidly carry out the aforementioned court ruling, and also calls for a motion to reconsider its final ruling regarding the cases in which there was no way of litigation due to the revelation of new facts that revoke those courts’ specialization in prosecuting civil cases transferred to them for breaking the public establishment protection law, and that the military courts still considering some cases to stop looking into them and transfer them to civil justice.
It also calls for the military courts to meet the defense of the accused’s requests that are tried against it to impeach the constitutionality of the laws and articles they push for being unconstitutional, such as law number 136, year 2014, for opposing the articles number 95 and number 2014 of the constitution, as the unconstitutionality of articles 3, 86, 86 repeated/1, 102/E, 375, 375 repeated from the penal code and articles 1, 31, 53, 45, 56, 57, 84, 97, 99, 100, 101, 118 from the law number 25, the year 1966, regulated by law number 16, the year 2007 “The Military Justice Law”. And that is to reveal the constitutionality of said articles and laws.