Egyptian Judges Defy Controversial Law on Judiciary Appointments

The new law gives the president the power to choose which senior judges will head each branch of the judiciary

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi attends a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
Andrew Harnik/AP

Judges from one of the Egyptian judiciary's three main branches voted on Saturday to defy a newly adopted and widely disputed law giving the president a degree of control over the judiciary.

The law stipulates that each judiciary branch nominates three of its seven most senior judges for the president to choose one to head each of the three branches.

State Council judges, who rule on disputes with the government, voted overwhelmingly to put forward their most senior judge as their nominee to head their branch, defying the new law.

The State Council judges' single nominee, Yahya Dakroury, ruled last year against relinquishing to Saudi Arabia control of strategic Red Sea islands.

The judiciary has two other branches: the court of cassation and government lawyers, which have already complied.