Egypt: Landmark verdict, judiciary repeals Presidential decree on demolition and renovation of churches
The Court of Administrative Justice, presided by Judge Abdul Majid AlMokten, vice president of State Council, has ruled to cancel Presidential Decree No. 291 of 2005, which delegated district governors the responsibility to license Christian sects to modify or demolish a church and replace it at the same location.
Since the President, according to the previous constitution, does not have authority to delegate this responsibility to others, the lawyer Mamdouh Nakhla filed lawsuit No. 7635 in order that the President cancel his decree, stressing that the decree contravenes the Constitution and the law, because it is not based on existing law which entrusts this responsibility to the competent administrative body, in accordance with Article 4 of Law 106 of 1976.
Nakhla added that Mubarak's decree restricts the freedom of some citizens to renovate their places of worship, while there are no such restrictions on the rest of the citizens. This is considered a violation to both the principle of equality and freedom of religion.