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Muslim Brotherhood Ban Case

Court / Presiding Judge

First Review: Cairo Court for Urgent Matters/Judge Muhammad al-Sayed
Second Review: Cairo Appeals Court for Urgent Matters/Judge Kareem Hazem

Procedural History

On September 23, 2013, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters issued its ban; on November 5, 2013, it upheld the ban.

Verdict

The court’s verdict banned the Muslim Brotherhood, a decision that was later affirmed upon second review.

Summary of Reasoning

The court determined that the verdict applied to the Muslim Brotherhood as a movement, its affiliated nongovernmental organization, and “any institution derived from or belonging to the Brotherhood” or “receiving financial support from it.” The court ordered the seizure of the Muslim Brotherhood’s funds and ordered the creation of a panel to administer the Brotherhood’s frozen assets. When discussing the reasons for the ban, the court argued that the Muslim Brotherhood used Islam “as a cover” while it “violated citizen’s rights.” It also stated that during the Muhammad Morsi presidency, “Egyptians found only repression and arrogance.”

Anecdotal Notes

The case had been originally filed by the leftist Tagammu Party. In a related ruling on April 15, 2014, the Alexandria Court for Urgent Matters banned the Supreme Elections Commission from accepting nomination papers from members of the Muslim Brotherhood in any upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. A separate August 2014 case also outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party.

Legal & Judicial Implications

Starting in 2013, the Urgent Matters Court, originally established to be a temporary and immediate court for administrative relief, began to issue political verdicts that some legal scholars argued to be in the purview of the criminal or constitutional courts. The designation by the court of the Muslim Brotherhood came at a time of serious questions regarding the politicization of the judiciary.