- Middle East/North Africa
The Supreme Constitutional Court has set 15 January as its deadline for reviewing all pending cases, including those related to the legitimacy of the Shura Council and the Constituent Assembly.
The court convened its general assembly on Sunday to discuss its work in light of the new Constitution and the end of the sit-in staged outside by supporters of President Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood.
It was its second meeting since the removal of seven of 18 previous judges as mandated by the recently approved Constitution.
The SCC suspended its work on 2 December, saying that protesters staging a sit-in had prevented judges from entering the court. In a statement at the time, the judges said they were facing assaults against their independence and that the sit-in was an insult to the judges.
The court already dissolved the People's Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, in June based on a ruling that an elections law was unconstitutional. The Shura Council was elected under the same law, but lawsuits against its formation are being considered separately from the ones regarding the lower house.
The council recently assumed legislative powers as stipulated by the new constitution until elections can be held for a new lower house, renamed the House of Representatives. If it is dissolved, the country will have no legislative body until those elections, which are expected to take place within the first few months of 2013.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm