September 26, 2020

“The opposite would be to breach the Constitution”

The president of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) and of the Supreme Court has defended in his speech at the solemn act of Opening of the Judicial Year that the governing body of the judges continues to make appointments to the judicial leadership despite being in office. In his opinion, appointments to senior positions – in the case of the Supreme Court, for life – should continue to proceed “normally”.

The Judiciary will continue to appoint judges with the expired majority of Rajoy after the PP blocking its renewal

The Judiciary will continue to appoint judges with the expired majority of Rajoy after the PP blocking its renewal

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“The opposite would be to breach the fundamental rule itself, with serious damage to the Spanish Justice, which would be damaged by an institutional paralysis maintained over time, at a time when it must face enormous challenges,” he said before King Felipe VI , the Attorney General of the State, the Minister of Justice and the Government Chamber of the Supreme Court, before whom he has called “again” to the parliamentary groups to renew the institution “without further delay.” “This delay represents a serious anomaly,” he assured.

The CGPJ, which should have been renewed in December 2018, has recently reactivated being in office and with a conservative majority composition inherited from the stage in which the PP governed with an absolute majority the renewal of seats in the main courts, six of them in the Supreme. The refusal of the leader of the Popular Party, Pablo Casado, to reach an agreement for the renewal of the judicial bodies has a very concrete consequence at the end of September, when the magistrates will vote for three seats in the Criminal Chamber of Alto Court, which hears the cases against graduates.

An interim Council that has nothing to do with the current composition of the Cortes Generales in charge of appointing its members – four general elections have been held since it was elected – has so far agreed the renewal of 43 high-level positions in the main courts. Twelve of them in the Supreme Court, two in the National Court, 14 in the regional superior courts and 15 in provincial courts.

After meeting with the President of the Government, the leader of the PP assured that he had established as a condition to renew the governing body of the judges and reach any other State agreement that United We can leave the Executive. The next day, the new PP national spokesperson, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, said instead that Casado had proposed Sánchez a change in the system of election of members of the CGPJ, despite the fact that in July the negotiations moved on a renewal with the current model.

“Endless processes”

During the speech, Lesmes recalled the role and commitment of the judicial system during the state of alarm caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and stressed that every crisis is an opportunity to move forward. He has cited, in this sense, the “inefficiently organized” Administration of Justice that has “endless processes and with a digitization of its operation many times started but never finished.”

The State Attorney General, Dolores Delgado, has also referred to the COVID-19 crisis, who in her speech praised the “priceless lesson of responsibility and dedication of Spanish society” in the face of the pandemic and has expressed her “affection and solidarity “for the deceased. On the other hand, Delgado has referred to the trial of the procés as an “example of institutional normality and commitment to duty and legality.”

On the other hand, the attorney general has announced that in the next few days she will issue an instruction that addresses the treatment by prosecutors of the issue of “home occupations”, which she has referred to as a “criminal phenomenon”, although not has given more details of the content of that instruction.


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