Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi’s call for a ‘Justice Conference’ to be convened at the presidential palace shortly has caused concern among judges that the president will use the occasion to purge some 3,500 judges. Many of them have campaigned vigorously in recent months to maintain the independence of the judicial system from the Muslim Brotherhood dominated executive and legislative branches of government.

This is not the first time in Egypt’s modern history that the judiciary has opposed the country’s president. Indeed, the judges’ defiance of the presidency and their determination to safeguard the judicial system from political interference is widely recognized and respected in the Arab world. (CONTINUED - 1021 WORDS)