Supreme Judicial Council (SJC)
Supreme Judicial Council (SJC)

Arabic: مجلس القضاء الأعلى

Established: 1971

Chairman: Serrri Seyam

The Supreme Judicial Council was created by a provision of the 1971 Constitution, which calls for a Supreme Council of Judicial Organizations. Its creation was controversial, as it included members appointed by the executive branch and thus was considered to remove some of Egyptian judges’ autonomy.

Therefore, in 1984 most of the appointment and assignment of judges was returned to the Supreme Judicial Council, which consists entirely of judges or judicial personnel.

Partly for this reason, Egypt’s judiciary is considered one of the most independent in the Arab world.

The SJC’s duties include reviewing everything concerning the appointment, promotion, transfer, and delegation of judges and attorney generals and their affairs. Its opinion must be taken into consideration in any draft laws relating to the judiciary and public prosecution.

The SJC’s authority over some matters involves consultation or approval rather than initiation of action. This is especially the case with senior judicial appointments, such as the Attorney-General.

Other judicial bodies such as the Council of State and the Supreme Constitutional Court have separate procedures. Many have their own guarantees of independence even if they lay outside of the SJC.

The Supreme Judicial Council is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Court of

Cassation, and is composed of the following members:

n  Chief Justice of the Cairo Court of Appeals

n  Attorney General

n  Two most senior deputies to the Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation 3

n  Two most senior chief justices of the other Courts of Appeals

The most significant decision issued by the SJC was approving the appointment of the first female judge in Egypt.

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