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Panel endorses petition bylaw - ‘KD 5,000 fee very high’

KUWAIT CITY, June 20: MP Rakan Al- Nesf has revealed that the bylaw for allowing individuals to file petitions directly at the Constitutional Court was endorsed during the first round of discussions by the related committee of the parliament, asserting that the bylaw will serve the minorities in the Kuwaiti society and restore the right of every citizen to file lawsuits at the Constitutional Court, reports Al-Rai daily.

During a seminar titled ‘Direct Petition before the Constitutional Court’ organized by the Kuwait Lawyers Society, MP Al-Nesf said, “From 1961 until this day, there must have been many cases related to legal and constitutional matters which should have been dealt with in a proper manner.

However, political tendencies influenced the way these cases were handled, wasting a lot of time as they were settled in the parliament itself”. He went on to say, “The parliament’s legislative committee is keen about implementing this law in a proper manner.

This bylaw was discussed in the previous parliaments as well as supported by many politicians and lawyers but it was unfortunately never finalized and endorsed. We hope it will make it to the second round of discussions by the committee”. MP Al-Nesf affirmed that the committee will take into consideration the observations presented by the Supreme Judicial Council, adding, “Due to this aspect, conditions such as non-refundable charges for cases and direct interest in the filed petitions have been included as well as the conditions that the petition should be filed by three accredited lawyers and that a panel for determining the seriousness of the petition must be established”. He stressed that these conditions are necessary to avoid the Constitutional Court’s corridors from being swamped with petitions.

Meanwhile, Professor from the Faculty of Law at Kuwait University Dr Abdullah Al- Rumaidi affirmed that the bylaw has positive and negative aspects, explaining, “The nonrefundable charge of KD 5,000 for a case is too high. Charging KD 1,000 is enough to ensure serious petitions are filed”.

He also stressed that one lawyer instead of three is enough to certify the petition before it is submitted to the court in order to reduce the trouble the citizen will have to go through to gather signatures of three lawyers. Dr Al-Rumaidi suggested that such cases should be given a certain timeline for the concerned individual to file a petition directly, similar to the timeline for petitions filed against administration decisions.

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