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The CGPJ excludes entering the Constitutional Court after the reduction of its powers

Updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 11:49 PM

Published on: 04/28/2021 23:48

The plenary session of the General Judicial Council (CGPJ) ruled out, by a majority of 13 votes to 8, seizing the Constitutional Court to raise a conflict of powers with Congress on the legal reform which prohibits it from making appointments. while at the office.

With the same majority, he rejected at an extraordinary meeting the proposal of eight members to ask the Mediator to file an unconstitutionality appeal against the reform of the organic law of the judiciary promoted by the PSOE and United We Can to cut their powers and therefore put pressure on the PP to negotiate the renewal of this body.

The CGPJ has been in office for more than two years and five months due to the inability of the PSOE and the PP to conclude a pact to elect new members; and their agreement is necessary, because the law requires that renewal be supported by a three-fifths majority in Parliament.

Eight members of the sector considered conservative – Rafael Fernández Valverde, Carmen Llombart, José Antonio Ballestero, Gerardo Martínez Tristán, Juan Manuel Fernández, Juan Martínez Moya, Nuria Díaz and Ángeles Carmona – have asked to hold this extraordinary plenary session to take action against the reduction of the competences in the functions, considering that the Congress assumed the powers of the CGPJ and that the judicial independence was violated.

But the majority of the members of this body refused to seize the Constitutional Court because this group was betting, which signed a private vote in defense of taking this step “to safeguard the fundamental principle of the division of powers”. In a statement to the media, the eight members stressed that none of the participants in Wednesday’s extraordinary plenary session “defended the constitutional goodness” of the legal reform promoted by groups that support the government.

On the other hand, the meeting approved by 17 votes for, three against – by the members Enrique Lucas, Clara Martínez de Careaga and Concepción Sáez – and a blank – by Roser Bach – the answer to the questions asked. Sent by the European Commission in the framework of the preparation of its report on the rule of law 2021. The EC was interested in the “impact” of the reform and, without evaluating it, the CGPJ explains that, both that it will remain in office, it cannot appoint new magistrates of the Supreme Court or presidencies in the superior courts of justice and the provincial courts.

In these latter jurisdictions, those who occupy high judicial positions remain in office, but in the case of the Supreme Court, the positions will remain vacant sine die, as long as a new CGPJ is not constituted. Regarding the delay in its renewal, the governing body of judges reminds the European Commission that its president, Carlos Lesmes, has addressed several times to the presidencies of the Congress and the Senate to remind them of the need to initiate proceedings.

And at the majority request of the judiciary so that the judges themselves choose the majority of members – the twelve of judicial extraction -, the CGPJ exposes in Brussels that reforming the organic law of the judicial power to change the electoral system is a competence of Parliament.

Last week EC Vice-President for Values ​​and Transparency Vera Jourová argued that, in principle, reducing the powers of the CPGJ while it is in office is a matter of the rule of law.

However, she was very critical of the reform also registered by the PSOE and United We Can in Congress which lowered the majorities required to renew the CGPJ and which could have excluded the PP from the negotiations. After the first doubts from Brussels, the government had frozen these changes, but last week Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo announced the final withdrawal of the bill after meeting with Jourová.

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