Lawyers protest proposed legal practice amendments

Parliament decided yesterday to return proposed amendments to the Legal Practice Law to the legislative committee for more discussion following a request by committee head Amal Othman.

Lawyers, meanwhile, continued their ongoing sit-in inside the Lawyers Syndicate, hanging effigies depicting Parliamentary Speaker Fathi Sorour and Syndicate President Hamdi Khalifa on the syndicate’s main entrance. They stressed they would not end their sit-in before the proposed amendments were scrapped.

They also planned to stage a march on parliament to reiterate their refusal of the proposed amendments, but security forces–which surrounded the syndicate–thwarted the attempt. Protesters chanted slogans against Khalifa, demanded the dissolution of the syndicate board and threatened to move their protest to the sidewalk outside the parliament building.

Protesters carried banners reading, “The NDP and its supporters’ conspiracy against lawyers will fail.”

During yesterday’s session, Sorour said it was “unreasonable” to discuss proposed amendments to the Legal Practice Law without heeding the words of the syndicate president.

Independent MP Alaa Abdel Moneim said he intended to file a complaint with the attorney-general about what he described as parliamentary “fraud” aimed at passing the law, adding that most lawyers were dead-set against the amendments.

“The sit-in will continue until this act is thwarted,” said prominent lawyer Montasser el-Zayat. “The lawyers’ movement is gaining more support from other governorates and syndicates on a daily basis.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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