March 5, 2021

Congress reminds the Judiciary that it cannot ask the Board to reconsider its agreements on the reform of the PSOE and United We Can


The Board of Congress – with the votes of PSOE and United We Can – warns the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) that only the members of that Chamber – deputies or parliamentary groups – have the ability to request reconsideration of their decisions. It is the response that the governing body of the Chamber has given to the CGPJ, which on January 21 requested that the urgent procedure of the reform that restricts the CGPJ’s ability to appoint judges with expired terms be reconsidered, as this organ has been doing for more than two years.

The Judicial Power accuses PSOE and United We Can of breaking the

The Judicial Power accuses PSOE and United We Can of breaking the “separation of powers” by expressly taking away powers

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In a harsh statement, 16 of its 21 members – the eleven Conservatives and four Progressives plus President Lesmes – accused both parties of breaking “the requirements of the principle of separation of powers” for processing this reform “urgently” and “without hearing of any kind” and asked the Board of Congress to reconsider that decision. But the governing body of the Chamber has once again rejected this request, considering that it is not covered by the Regulations of Congress, which in Article 31.2 establishes that only deputies or parliamentary groups can request the “reconsideration” of decisions adopted by the Table.

Most of the members of the CGPJ consider that this body should be heard by Congress before approving this reform, despite the fact that the initiative has been proposed as proposition of law of the parliamentary groups of PSOE and United We Can, a modality that does not require that prior control. The Organic Law of the Judicial Power establishes in its article 561.1 that the draft laws and general provisions that deal with modifications of the norm that regulate the Judicial Power will be submitted for a report to the CGPJ, but it does not establish this procedure for proposals of law.

The reform that restricts the CGPJ’s ability to make discretionary appointments with expired terms has split the body in two. The five members who disagreed with the decision to ask the Board to reconsider its decision signed a private vote in which they accused the majority of the CGPJ of align with the PP and violate the separation of powers. In his view, the body exceeded its powers with an agreement that involves “a gratuitous, unfounded and improper confrontation in constitutional terms.” The text, written by Álvaro Cuesta, was joined by Clara Martínez de Careaga, Pilar Sepúlveda, Rafael Mozo and Concepción Sáez. They all belong to the progressive sector of the institution.

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FAITH OF ERRORS. In a first version of this information, the agreement was mistakenly attributed to the lawyers of Congress.

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