|Tahrir Square, Cairo.
Photo uploaded to commons by Jonathan Rashad - Flickr
The new legislation is in response to changes made to Egypt's constitution in April. The new laws also position the Egyptian president as the head of an overarching judicial council.
“The redraft states that civilians can be tried before military courts only in cases involving crimes against military installations, in military zones and along borders, involving military equipment, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, documents, secrets, funds and factories,” said Bahaaeddin Abu Shokka, head of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee of the Egyptian parliament.
While described as a careful limitation on the use of military trials of civilians, the criteria listed above could be employed by creative prosecutors against civil dissidents in a wide variety of circumstances.
Military jurisdiction over civilians is widely condemned as a violation of international human rights law.