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The Controversy Over the New Draft Amendments of the Egyptian Litigation Fees Law

Guiding Principle

An overview about the draft amendments of the Egyptian fees law and its extent of acceptance between the judicial circles and jurists.

1. Most Important Adjusted Legal Provisions

In January 2015, the Department of Legalization at the Egyptian State Council has submitted to the Presidency of the Republic a draft for the suggested amendments to the law of judicial fees in civil and criminal matters for review and issuance if accepted.

The most prominent amendments include the relative increase of fees to

  • 2,000 Egyptian pounds (EGP) for claims with a value up to 40 thousand EGP;
  • 4,000 EGP for cases worth more than 40 thousand EGP up to 100 thousand EGP;
  • 10,000EGP for claims of more than 100 thousand EGP and not exceeding a million EGP; and
  • 20,000 EGP for cases valued at more than one million EGP.[1]

The suggested amendments also apply to the fixed fees for submission of appeal. According to the draft law, the fees for appealing should be raised to be 150 EGP. Also the fees for lawsuits reconsideration, i.e. lawsuits which have been filed after the cassation of a case, were increased as well to 50 EGP..

2. Disparate Reactions from Judges and the Bar Association

a) General Bar Association Statement

Tharwat Atallah, a board member of the General Bar Association, stated that the passing of such law without submitting it to the parliament first might cause resentment among lawyers.

He further stressed that the increase of the fees will lead to limit the chances and possibilities to seek legal recourse; the now lowest lawsuit fees of two thousand EGP, is not affordable for most of the Egyptians, as it is also in addition to the Stamp Act law, a stamp with the price of 10 EGP on any lawsuit and which revenues go to the social and health nationals fund for judges..[2]

b) Statement of the Judges Club

Chancellor Hamdi Abdel Tawab, a member of the Board of Directors of Judges Club stated that the judicial fees law is exclusively a judicial matter and no one, whoever, has the right to interfere in the work of the judiciary. He added that these particular litigation fees concern lawsuits, which makes this law subject to the judicial affairs only.[3]

3. The Conclusion

It would appear that an increase of the litigation fees with the aim of facilitating the litigation process by implementing electronic services, which should lead to expediting of a trial, is justified. However, the arguments of the judges, that the increased value of the fees does not differ much from the current fees is not acceptable as there is no real additional value that justifies the increase.

January, 2015 Amir El Shamy
Meyer-Reumann & Partners, Alexandria Office

[1] 2014/12/24 (publication source)

[2] news/details/618304

[3] details19894.htm

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