Several government draft laws including combating terrorism, drugs, regulation of internal navigation, increasing pensions, amending the documentation, Real Estate Law, and the Judicial Authorities Law, are expected to be discussed during the last two months of the fourth legislative term following the end of the month of Ramadan and Eid (feast celebrations).
On 14 May, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal suspended parliamentary sessions until 9 June. Over the past seven months since the beginning of the fourth session, specifically in October, the House of Representatives passed 76 bills, including reconciliations in building violation, real estate taxes, regulation of universities, the Weapons Law and the Education Law.
Parliament Spokesperson, Salah Hasaballah, said that currently there are number of important laws which should be urgently finalised including the judicial authorities bill and the Senate Law. Furthermore, Hasaballah said this will be linked to a number of complementary laws such as the Political Rights Law and the Division of Constituencies Law, which will come as an application of constitutional amendments, in addition to the existence of other laws such as criminal procedures and local administration.
“We are working through the arrangement of priorities, and therefore the discussion of the state budget is necessary, and we have to finish it before 30 June, so it currently tops the council’s agenda, and I think this would lead the parliament speaker to extend the current term in order to finish a number of important pending bills, but personally I think it is difficult to discuss these laws during the fourth term because of the lack of time,” he added.
Daily News Egypt reviews some of those bills, and the reason for their amendment and what are the significant changes expected for them.
Beginning with the anti-terrorism bill, it is set to face terrorist elements taking advantage of rented properties in order to facilitate the implementation of their crimes, or to hide weapons and explosive devices and harbour criminal elements.
The bill includes creating a system to regulate notifying the authorities about the rental of any apartment as a proactive step to prevent the threat of terrorism, and also to decide the appropriate penalties against those who violate this obligation.
The draft law could lead to the confiscation of any property in the event of being convicted of hiding terrorists, after the approval of the authority of the Public Prosecution or the competent investigative authority, and to close any property used for manufacturing or the design of weapons used in any terrorist crime.
Increasing Pensions Bill
The draft law will increase pensions, due to increase until June 30, 2019, according to Social Insurance Laws, by 15% of their value. This will start from next July, with a minimum of EGP 150 per month.
The bill also includes sets a minimum pension of EGP 900 per month as ordered by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, including all increases and subsidies, and the public treasury has to bear the financial burden of implementing these raises.
Amendment of the Constitutional Court Law
The amendment includes the replacement of the first and second paragraphs of the law with the following text: The President of the republic shall choose the head of the court from among the oldest five vice-presidents of the court. The President of the republic shall appoint the vice-president of the court from among two candidates, one of whom shall be appointed to the General Assembly of the Court. This will be amended in accordance with the recent constitutional amendment in April.
The Draft Law of Judicial Authorities
The recent constitutional amendments require amending legislations dealing with judicial authorities, the performance of the state council, the Supreme Constitutional Court, the General Prosecution and military courts.
The government-drafted law on the setting up of the Higher Council for Judicial Authorities was referred to the constitutional and legislative affairs committee to be discussed this week.
The list includes the law regulating the Supreme Constitutional Court Law No 48 for 1979, the Administrative Prosecution Authority Law No117 for 1958, the Military Prosecution Law No 25 for 1966, the Judicial Authority Law No 46 for 1972, and the State Council Law No 47 for 1972.
The council will be headed by the President of the republic and the membership of the president of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the president of the Court of Cassation, the president of the council of state, the Head of the State Litigation Authority, the president of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, the president of the Cairo Court of Appeal, and the General Prosecutor.
The draft law will amend Article 35 of the Administrative Prosecution Authority Act, the second paragraph of Article 16 of the State Litigation Authority Act, and the addition of an article number 55 of the Code of Military Justice and replace the article of the second paragraph of Article 44 of the Judicial Authority Law. This would be to stipulate that the President shall appoint heads of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, the State Litigation Authority, the military judiciary and the Court of Cassation, for a period of four years or for the remaining period until they reach retirement age-whichever is the earliest-one-time throughout the duration of his work.
The draft law also included the amendment of the first paragraph of Article 119 of the Special Judicial Authority Law in the manner of appointing the Attorney-General, to be by a decision of the President of the republic, out of three candidates nominated by the supreme judicial council. One would be for the post of vice president of the Court of Cassation, for a period of four years, or for the remainder of the period until he reaches retirement age, and for one time throughout his employment.
The President of the republic shall be informed of the names of the candidates before the end of the General Prosecutor’s term for at least 30 days, in the event of a non-nomination of candidates before the end of the period mentioned in the preceding paragraph, or the nomination of a number less than three, or the nomination of those who do not comply with the controls mentioned in the first paragraph.
The bill also included replacing the first paragraph of Article 83 of the of the State Council Law to specify the appointment of the president of the council of state from among the seven oldest vice presidents of the council for a period of four years or for the remaining period until retirement age, whichever is the nearest and one time throughout his term.
The Internal Navigation Draft
The internal Navigation Draft Law achieves a number of key objectives, foremost of which is to ensure the safety of internal navigation through the amendment of licensing rules and regulations for the management, use, and command of units and to allow them to avoid accidents caused by technical and human errors. This is in addition to encouraging investment in river transport through issuing licenses and controlling the ownership of river units by documenting all the actions contained therein.
The draft law also aims to establish databases for the river transport system and global river units which will be under the hands of the General Authority for River Transport so that it can be aware of all the actions which occur by the river unit and authorise the administration to control crimes determined by law.
In addition, it will include power of administrative withdrawal or cancellation of the license or reservation of the vessel in accordance with specific controls, as well as the authority to revoke licences or take necessary measures in order to ensure the safety of the passage of river units during navigation.
Combating Drugs Law
The amendment aims to add new kinds of narcotic drugs to the current list of drugs of the existing law, including the traditional types, and does not cover the materials which have been recently produced and became even more lethal than typical materials.
The draft law will contribute toward tackling the problem of narcotic drugs, both chemical and botanical, and will eliminate the Strox narcotic drug that a large number of people have recently been using, along with other new types of drugs which have negatively impacted the spread of domestic violence and crimes.