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State Commissioners Authority schedules the two lawsuits demanding broadcasting the sessions of the house of representatives and the Senate for legal opinion report

Publish Date : Wednesday, 26 May, 2021
Last Update : Monday, 3 January, 2022
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2 January 2022 

Yesterday, the State Commissioners Authority (Second Circuit) of the Administrative Judiciary Court decided to schedule the hearing session of the two lawsuits filed by AFTE’s lawyers against the House of Representatives and the Senate speakers. To prepare a legal opinion report.

AFTE filed the two lawsuits last May, before the Administrative Judiciary Court, Challenging the negative decision not to broadcast the parliamentary sessions on television and digital platforms and refraining from archiving the transcripts of the sessions or publishing them in the Official Gazette or digitally. The first lawsuit filed against the speaker of the House of Representatives carried No. 46322 of 75, while the second, filed against the speaker of the Senate, carried No. 46319 of 75.

The State Commissioners Authority is part of the judicial section of the Egyptian State Council; its competence includes expressing an impartial legal opinion in administrative cases and appeals before the Administrative Judiciary Court in which judgments are not justified until after the State Commissioners Authority prepares it and submits a report on the legal opinion, knowing that its opinion is not binding on the court, so it may take it or ignore it.

7 November 2021

Yesterday, The State delegated Authority (The Second Circuit) at The State Council adjourned the hearing session of the two lawsuits filed by AFTE’s lawyers last May against the House of Representatives and the Senate speakers, Challenging the negative decision not to broadcast the parliamentary sessions on television and digital platforms and refraining from archiving the transcripts of the sessions or publishing them in the Official Gazette or digitally, to January 2, 2022, to submit documents by the State’s Attorney.

AFTE lawyers submitted a memorandum of defense to the State’s Attorney pleas, which included the following:

  • Emphasizing the Second Circuit of The Administrative Court jurisdiction to consider the appeal against the negative decision to refrain from broadcasting the sessions of the two councils on television and digitally, since the appeal is related to all kinds of satellite broadcasts that the court mentioned above is competent to consider.

  • Availability of capacity and interest in the appeal, as the appellant is a citizen, and the appealed decision is related to the core of the rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Egyptian law and constitution thus personal interest, which entitles the appellant an interest and capacity to file the appeal.

  • The appealed decision is an administrative decision regarding facilitating the councils’ session and not a parliamentary decision outside the judiciary’s jurisdiction, which makes it valid to appeal against, as the administrative decisions of the Council are within the administrative judiciary’s jurisdiction and censorship.

  • The appealed decision violates the principle of publicity stipulated in the constitution and law to engage citizens in the public interest. The principle of publicity is achieved only by making what is happening inside the Council visual to the public.

  •  As well as its violation of the freedom of information circulation and citizens’ rights to access information, which the state is obligated to provide and make available to citizens in a transparent manner, and the constitution protects its freedom of circulation under Article No. (68).

To view the House of Representatives’ memorandum

To view the Senate’s memorandum

3 October 2021

Yesterday, The Administrative Court (The Second Circuit) adjourned the hearing session of the two lawsuits filed by AFTE’s lawyers, against the House of Representatives and the Senate speakers, regarding broadcasting the two chambers of parliament sessions, to November 7.

This decision came in connection with appeal No. 46319 of 75. That AFTE filed against the Senate’s decision for the absence of the State’s lawsuit authority’s response to the memorandum and documents presented by AFTE’s lawyers and to review and respond. Regarding appeal No. 46322 of 75 on the House of Representatives’ decision, this decision came for informing and the response of AFTE’s lawyers on the State’s lawsuit authority’s memorandum.

Last May, AFTE filed two lawsuits before the Administrative Court against both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the Senate, Challenging the negative decision not to broadcast the parliamentary sessions on television and digital platforms and refraining from archiving the transcripts of the sessions or publishing them in the Official Gazette or digitally.

The two lawsuits are based on Article 120 of the constitution, which states that “the sessions of the House of Representatives shall be held in public. The house may hold a secret session at the request of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, or at least twenty of the House members. By the majority of its members, the house shall decide whether the discussion in question is to be conducted in a public or a secret session”.

The petitions of the two lawsuits stated that making the sessions of the House of Representatives and the Senate available would guarantee public oversight over MPs and enhance citizens’ political participation; also, broadcasting the sessions on television or posting them online is the safest method during the Coronavirus pandemic, as it argued that the precautionary measures make it difficult for journalists to attend the sessions to practice their job.

26 September 2021 

The Council College of Commissioners of The Administrative Court has set the following October 3 hearing to be the first hearing session of the two lawsuits filed by AFTE’s lawyers against House of Representatives and the Senate speakers.

Challenging the negative decision not to broadcast the parliamentary sessions on television and digital platforms and refraining from archiving the transcripts of the sessions or publishing them in the Official Gazette or digitally.

The first lawsuit filed against the speaker of the House of Representatives carried No. 46322 of 75, while the second, filed against the speaker of the Senate, carried No. 46319 of 75.

The two lawsuits were based on Article 120 of the constitution. AFTE believes that making these sessions visual would guarantee public oversight over MPs and enhance citizens’ political participation.

 In addition to broadcasting the sessions on television or posting them online, it is the safest method during the Covid-19 pandemic. Implementing preventive measures makes it difficult for journalists and the public to attend the sessions to practice their job.

25 July 2021

The Administrative Court (Second Circuit) had decided at the first session of the emergency motion in the two lawsuits filed by AFTE’s lawyers, against both speakers of the House of Representatives and the Senate, challenging the negative decision not to broadcast the parliamentary sessions on television and digital platforms or to publish them in writing in the Official Gazette, to refer the lawsuits to the State Council’s College of Commissioners to prepare its legal opinion.

The first lawsuit filed against the speaker of the House of Representatives, carried No. 46322 of 75, while the second, filed against the speaker of the Senate, carried No. 46319 of 75, before the second circuit of the administrative court.

To read the lawsuit demanding the broadcast of the House of Representatives’ sessions, click here

To read the lawsuit demanding the broadcast of the Senate’s sessions, click here

26 May 2021 

The Administrative Court (second circuit) scheduled the upcoming July 27 session, as the first session of the emergency motion in the two lawsuits filed by AFTE’s lawyers, against both speakers of the House of Representatives (lower house of parliament) and the Senate (upper house of parliament), challenging the negative decision not to broadcast the parliamentary sessions on television and digital platforms or to publish them in writing in the Official Gazette.

The first case, filed against the speaker of the House of Representatives, carried No. 46322 of 75, while the second, filed against the speaker of the Senate, carried No. 46319 of 75, before the second circuit of the administrative court.

AFTE believes that making these sessions available would guarantee public oversight over MPs and enhance citizens’ political participation, voting in parliamentary elections is usually based on knowledge of the MPs’ performance and the different positions of political parties, something which would be enhanced by following up the sessions of the two chambers of parliament, in addition to broadcasting the sessions on television or posting them online, is the safest method in during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it argued that the precautionary measures in place make it difficult for journalists and the public to attend the sessions
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