Association Internationale des Hautes Juridictions Administratives
International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions

Interviews with the magistrates

Dr Mohamed Ismail, judge of the Council of State of Egypt and participant in the exchange program in 2021

Dr Mohamed Ismail is a member of the Council of State of Egypt. He participated in the exchange program in 2021 and did a two-week internship at the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic.

Dr Ismail's report can be downloaded here.

Why did you want to participate in the exchange program organized by the Association?

Due to the phenomenon of legal globalization, the exchange of global judicial principles between various legal cultures has become a fundamental factor behind the enhancement and creation of new judicial approaches in the Egyptian Supreme Administrative Court. During my thirty years at the Egyptian Conseil d’État, I have seen upfront the importance of sharing legal views transnationally, and its benefits towards the development of legal doctrine. Given that administrative law principles are not codified in written legislation, inspiration can be drawn from international applications of administrative laws. Furthermore, considering Egypt’s role in shaping Arab legal principles and legislation, the exchange program would have given insight into ways in which international principles could be suited for application in Middle Eastern jurisdictions.

What did you learn from your stay in the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic?

The Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic is one of the pre-eminent judicial bodies on the European continent. During my time at the Court, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Court exercised its judicial review upon the general precautionary measures issued by the administrative bodies for the fight against the spread of the new Coronavirus. The approach of the Court in many cases was unique, whereby they sought to create a sensible balance between individual liberties on one hand and public health constraints on the other. Most constitutions of the world grant the administration extraordinary powers if there are extraordinary circumstances that states are facing. For instance, Article (16) of the French Constitution (October 4, 1958) deals clearly with powers granted to the administration during any given state of emergency. Arab constitutions deal similarly with the matter. During my time at the Supreme Administrative Court, it was increasingly insightful how the court employed principles which kept the balance between individual liberties and common welfare.

Can you tell us something that particularly caught your attention in the functioning, the organization or the activity of the Court?

The structure of the administrative judiciary of the Supreme Administrative Court in the Czech Republic is unique. I was particularly impressed with the Documentation and Research Department at the Court, which plays an indispensable role in research and case preparation. The department worked on the translation of different judgments from different countries to make use of global trends. I was also interested in seeing the role of judicial clerks, and their efforts to assist judges in the issuance of judgments. Finally, the composition of the court was of particular interest to me. The Court appoints judges from eminent university professors, distinguished lawyers, efficient judicial clerks, and lower court judges. This process is very particular as it maintains diversification in legal backgrounds which enriches the quality and fabric of the court. 

I would like to note that the cultural part of the visit was very rich. I visited Prague Opera to attend the famous show of the Marriage of Figaro ‘Le nozze di Figaro’. I also visited the National Museum complex in Prague. I had one long day trip to Vienna where I visited the House of Mozart, the House of Music Museum and Albertina Museum.

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