The General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) will debate in the Plenary session next Thursday two writings related to the proposed law of the PSOE and United We Can that limits its powers when its mandate has expired, as has happened today for two years by the rejection of the Popular Party to its renewal.
The Judiciary challenges the government reform that intends to take away responsibilities in office and continues with the appointments
The governing body has maintained a majority of conservative members since 2013, which is due to the correlation of forces that existed then, when it was elected with the absolute majority of Mariano Rajoy. The reform of the parties that support the Government, whose admission for processing will be debated this Tuesday in Congress, aims to prevent the CGPJ from doing discretionary appointments when their term of office has expired. The body has awarded 57 high-level positions in the main courts in this interim situation and intends to make more appointments this Thursday.
The initiative to examine this proposal comes from eleven members of the council sector, which also faces this question divided. One of the briefs, signed by the members Ángeles Carmona, Nuria Díaz, Juan Manuel Fernández, Carmen Llombart, Juan Martínez Moya and Gerardo Martínez Tristán directly proposes that the CGPJ examine the bill. The other, signed by the members Wenceslao Olea, Victoria Cinto, José Antonio Ballestero, Juan Martínez Moya, José María Macías and Rafael Fernández Valverde suggests that Congress be requested to collect reports from the governing body of the judges and the Venice Commission (Council of Europe) on the bill. That is, they request that this pronouncement be made at the request of the Chamber and have its endorsement.
The reform has been proposed as proposition of law of the parliamentary groups of PSOE and United We Can – instead of the Government bill -, which allows to circumvent their prior control because in this way it is not necessary to request the mandatory but not binding reports from the CGPJ, the Fiscal Council and the Council of State. With this movement, part of the conservative majority wants the legislative initiative to be “examined” by the governing body of the judges, although without any practical effect. To be approved, the proposal must have the support of the absolute majority of the Plenary. That is, of at least eleven of its 21 members (20 members plus the president).
Last October, twelve members – six conservatives and six progressives – plus President Lesmes signed a statement regarding the proposal of the PSOE and United We can lower the majority required to renew the CGPJ, which was withdrawn to promote an agreement with the PP to the renewal of the organ. This initiative received the frontal rejection of part of the opposition and of three of the four judicial associations. The European Commission also warned Spain that it must “reduce the influence of the Executive or Legislative Power in the Judiciary.”
Then, those twelve members plus Lesmes signed a statement in which, although they did not value the latest legislative initiatives presented on the system for electing their members, they did express their “concern” that these be carried out “in accordance with the Constitution and with the law of the European Union ”.
They also warned that the governing body of the judges would be “attentive” to the parliamentary initiatives that were presented aimed at reforming the Organic Law of the Judicial Power and that it would express its “founded opinion” if it understood “that any initiative that whether it is resumed or raised (…) may be contrary to the Constitution or the fundamental values on which the European Union is based ”.