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Egypt Rules in Favor of Appointing Women Judges to State Council

Egypt’s Constitutional Court ruled to allow the appointment of women judges to the State Council Monday. The State Council, the governing body in charge of administrative disputes regarding public power, voted overwhelmingly against appointing women to their ranks in February, according to Bikya Masr News. However, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif and the country’s top governing body, the Constitutional Court, ruled that the decision was not within the State Council’s authority.

An anonymous State Council judge told the Agence France Presse that the Constitutional Court’s decision was “wise and good.” Legal expert Nasser Amin told the Associated Press he is concerned the ruling was not “decisive” and will deepen existing disagreement between court officials.

Amin stated, “This is a conflict between liberals and conservatives within all institutions of the state. The Constitutional Court could have put an end to it by saying discriminating against women in public office is unconstitutional and must stop.” The case will be reviewed on March 22, reported Bikya Masr News.

The first female judge in Egypt was appointed to the Constitutional Court by the president in 2003, and 31 others were appointed in 2007, according to the Associated Press. Egypt falls behind on appointment of women judges when compared to other Arab nations like Tunisia, Iraq, and Syria, according to the American Bar Association.

Sources:

Bikya Masr News 3/16/10; Agence France Presse 3/15/10; Associated Press 3/15/10; American Bar Association 10/2009