Further Work to Promote Democracy in Egypt

February.15.2012

A team of attorneys is continuing our representation of our long-standing client, the Public International Law and Policy Group (“PILPG”), which has been providing legal advice to civil society groups in Egypt soon after the 2011 uprising, which toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak and called for democratic changes in Egypt’s political structure.  During and prior to Mubarak’s rule, the Egyptian executive was extremely strong and enacted laws to bastion its control over Egypt.  Despite this environment, Egyptians have viewed the judiciary as the most legitimate branch of government, and members of the judicial branch will likely play a large role in the democratic transition process.  Many members of the judiciary would like to know more about how to avoid implementation of ‘bad’ laws.  In this way, judges would like to act as an important check against the previously very strong executive, while exercising caution not to develop a reputation for legislating from the bench.  Thus, PILPG’s clients would like to know more about judicial activism in practice, including major points of controversy, effects, and other states’ practice.  Accordingly, the Orrick team will draft a memo on the practice and impacts of judicial activism.  The memo will examine the topic from two perspectives: (1) an overview of judicial activism, its pros and cons, and general effects; and (2) case studies of instances of judicial activism, with more focused analysis of specific effects.  The memo will be used by PILPG in training sessions with the Egyptian judiciary.  The team consists of San Francisco public finance project associate Monica Baranovsky, Silicon Valley intellectual property associate Alex Feerst, and Washington, D.C. global finance managing associate Ben Davidson, all supervised by San Francisco litigation partner Richard DeNatale.