CAIRO – 25 July 2018: Minister of Justice Hossam Abdel Rahim announced the formal completion of the first Egyptian legislative guidebook prepared to be followed by the legislators in Egypt occupying the Parliament, the Cabinet and the President.
Following three years of hard work, the legislative guidebook was issued for the lawmakers inside and outside Egypt to help improve the process of issuing new laws or modifying old ones in a scientific way, according to the minister.
The guidebook underscores the right of all Parliament members to directly propose draft laws to the Parliament for approval. However, ministers have to send their draft laws to the council of ministers before the council sends it to the Parliament.
Draft laws should be proposed with the aim of executing the state’s general policy and the Cabinet’s program and meeting the country’s international commitments, according to the guidebook.
One of the main recommendations of the guidebook is checking the constitution while proposing draft laws, in order to protect them from being eliminated in case they were found to be unconstitutional.
Legislators also have to make sure that the national draft laws proposed are compatible with the international instruments Egypt has signed, in order to protect the government from being internationally censured.
Imprisonment punishment suggested by a draft law should not be too cruel for the illegal action committed, according to the guidebook.
Legislators should avoid issuing draft laws that contradict with the actual national laws. They subsequently should stop using phrases like “other laws contradicting this law are cancelled” and “the law is applied as long as it does not contradict other laws.”
Following the approval of the council of ministers on a draft law introduced by a ministry, this ministry should then coordinate with other ministries and related parties to prepare the draft law in its last form before it is submitted again to the council.
The Cabinet has to send the draft law then to the State Council in order for the latter to send notes about it. The Cabinet usually sends the State Council’s notes to the Justice Ministry to know their legal opinion about these notes. However, the Cabinet is not constitutionally obliged to commit to the State Council’s opinion and notes about the draft law.
According to the constitution, the State Council is an independent judicial authority specialized in settling many types of disputes including administrative ones, in addition to reviewing and phrasing draft laws and legislative decisions.
The council of ministries then has to send the draft law to the Parliament with all researches, attachments, copy of the experts’ opinions and an explanatory memorandum all attached to the draft law.
The Parliament has the right to approve or reject the draft law introduced by the Cabinet. The Parliament then refers the draft law to the Proposals and Complaints Committee to prepare a report on it and submit it to the Parliament again.
The President has the right to issue or reject draft laws. In case the President rejects a draft law, he has to send it back for reconsideration to the Parliament within 30 days of the Parliament’s notification. If the president does not send it back within a month to the Parliament, or if at least two thirds of the Parliament members approve it again after it was sent back, the draft law would be issued as a law.