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Ministry says no legal specialists in labor cases.

CAIRO: The Ministry of Justice has issued a new decree allowing judges to rule in labor cases without consulting legal specialists.

The new decision also includes obligatory appointments of legal specialists in courtrooms, which protesting specialists previously objected to.

Accounting legal specialists in Zagazig were asked to return all files related to labor cases including those of displacement, punishments and salaries reduction.

The ministry's decision was based on periodic book number nine for 2009 which also bypassed the role of legal specialist in agricultural land abuse cases.

Earlier this month, the ministry asked specialists in Sharqeya to return case files related to land abuse including land erosion and illegal building on agricultural land.

Furthermore, courtrooms in Kafr El-Sheikh, Minya and Alexandria saw appointments of 15 specialists each, despite the protesting specialists' demands to cancel obligatory appointments.

As their sit-in entered its 37th day on Tuesday, legal specialists are demanding the cancellation of periodic book number eight, which requires them to examine case files in courtrooms only, the replacement of law 96/1952 as well as better pay and work conditions.

"After they previously claimed that our sit-in ended, the ministry continues to issue a series of provoking decisions aimed at mistreating legal specialists," Mohamed Tahoon, spokesperson of protesting legal specialists, told Daily News Egypt.

Tahoon said specialists are worried that other governorates will also start to implement the new decisions.

Meanwhile, more than 35 lawyers sent a memo to the Lawyers' Syndicate, criticizing its "passive role" in pushing for a resolution to the legal specialists' crisis.

According to Tahoon, specialists have plans to escalate the sit-in through group resignations, hunger strikes and suspending achievement records. He said such measures will be taken when negotiations reach a dead end.

Last week, protestors reached an agreement with the ministry to increase incentives, cancel obligatory appointment and activate the three options in periodic book number eight; but the ministry later changed the terms of the agreement.

Protestors addressed the presidential office urging President Hosni Mubarak to intervene and resolve the matter.

Tahoon said that there are ongoing negotiations with the presidential office and is optimistic they will reach a resolution soon.

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Aug 11, 2009
Words:369
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