PM to meet with lawyers and judges to resolve crisis

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf is planning to hold a meeting with lawyers and judges to end a crisis that erupted between the two groups in recent days, a senior government source said Tuesday.

The same source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a settlement has been reached regarding their disagreements over the draft Judiciary Law.

The two parties have agreed that a joint committee of lawyers and judges be formed to formulate a draft Judiciary Law, the source said, in preparation for submitting it to the cabinet.

The Judiciary Law will only receive final approval after it is submitted to the upcoming parliament.

The source said a demand put forward by Hossam al-Gheriany, the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, to form a committee under his supervision to probe alleged assaults on judges has also been met.

Sharaf held separate meetings with both parties over the past two days. He met with Ahmed al-Zend, the head of the Judges Club, as well as a delegation of lawyers that included Montassir al-Zayat, Mohamed Kamel, Hamdy Khalifa, Mortada Mansour and Mohamed Hashem.

The source added that the government is trying to end the lawyers-judges crisis as soon as possible so that it will not impact upcoming elections. At the same time, the government wants to safeguard the independence of the judiciary, he said.

In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Local Development Minister Mohamed Ahmed Attiya said the crisis is on its way to being resolved, and added that the government has exerted considerable efforts to this end.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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