Female judges sit on benches of Egypt’s State Council for first time

Nearly 100 female judges assumed office at Egypt’s State Council for the first time in the country’s history, the Egyptian judiciary body announced on Sunday.

The 98 judges, who were sworn in on Saturday, were appointed last year under a presidential decree to work in the circuits of the State Commissioners’ Authority, Mohamed Mahmoud Hossameldin, the Council’s President, said in a statement.
“They would examine lawsuits and prepare legal opinion reports,” he said, adding that all the female judges have undergone intensive training on judicial traditions and skills, file examination, session management, and relevant issues of national security and anti-corruption.

The move was applauded by advocacy groups, government officials, and female legal workers. “I’m very honored and proud to be among the first group of female judges in Egypt,” Hend Ahmed, a newly appointed judge, told Xinhua on her second day of work at the State Council in Cairo.
She noted that the Egyptian women have the capabilities to work in many fields, adding that the fellow female judges will prove that they deserved to be appointed.
“We have many responsibilities ahead and will cooperate with our colleagues to ensure justice in Egypt,” she said.
The State Council was founded under Egypt’s Constitution of 2014 as an independent judicial body with authority on administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, and appeals, as well as disputes about its decisions. 
It is also competent to issue opinions on certain legal issues, review and draft legislative bills and resolutions, and review draft contracts to which the state or any public entity is a party. 
Hossameldin said a follow-up on the newly appointed judges had made sure they would quickly integrate into the work and serve with efficiency and distinction.

Since the follow-up “proved their accuracy in examining cases, preparing legal reports, and participating in deliberations and cooperation with their colleagues,” all the female judges were put in their positions on the bench, he noted.
The move means that they have obtained all the powers and jurisdictions of fellow judges in the council through sitting on the bench in a judge’s capacity, he added. 
Their duty include presiding over sessions of cases preparation, completing documents necessary to adjudicate and prepare them for proceedings, and explaining the codes of the judicial tradition, Hossameldin said. -Xinhua

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