Military trials for civilians

Military trials are administered by officers assigned by the Minister of Defence.  The decisions of a military court cannot be disputed or appealed. The President is responsible for deciding what type of cases should be heard by a military trial.  After the revolution, military courts were supposedly limited, by the ruling Supreme Military Council, to examining cases of organised thuggery only.

The Egyptian Constitution of 1972 states that “every citizen has the right to resort to his natural judge.” However the present  emergency laws that were instituted by President Mubarak contradict this and allow the Military Council to transfer any cases to the Military Courts.

Although there is agreement amongst existing political powers to cancel the Emergency Law which would banish the Military Courts, there is still dispute about their role over the transitional period. Some believe that these courts are effective in imposing security and stability for the civilian population, particularly while the police force have absconded from their positions.