The fight over the appointments of the expired General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), whose constitutional mandate was fulfilled in December 2018, could reach the Constitutional Court. The group of Unidos Podemos-En Comú Podem-Galicia en Común polls the rest of the parliamentary forces so that the Plenary of Congress raises “a conflict of powers between constitutional bodies of the State” against the CGPJ if its president, Carlos Lesmes, maintains his intention to renew a part of the judicial leadership this Wednesday. The law establishes that the discrepancy, if maintained, must be settled by the high court.
The PP changes its position and votes with Ciudadanos and Vox for a new system of election of the Judicial Power whose renewal has been blocked since 2018
The letter prepared by Unidos Podemos, and to which elDiario.es has had access, maintains that since the mandate of the current CGPJ expired in December 2018, it has been “in office”, which would prevent it from making judicial appointments . Those scheduled for this Wednesday are especially delicate, according to the confederal group, since it would be appoint six magistrates of the Supreme Court, whose mandate is irrevocable until retirement. Three of them for the Second Chamber, which ultimately examines most of the criminal cases that are tried in Spain and through which corruption cases pass.
The appointments would be added to the many that the CGPJ chaired by Lesmes has made despite being in office. The parliamentary blockade of the renewal of the governing body of the judges, which is basically due to the fact that the PP has refused to negotiate it, would not be a sufficient reason, they understand in United We Can, for Lesmes to maintain his plan. In fact, the letter recalls that, at least on two occasions, the body has publicly acknowledged the precarious situation in which it finds itself to make certain appointments. First, in July 2020 when it “decided, for reasons of prudence, remove from the agenda the deliberation and ruling of such discretionary appointments before the confirmation, at that time, of the existence of negotiations between the parliamentary groups for the renewal of the governing body of the judges, whose mandate expired on December 4, 2018. “And earlier, in January of this year, when “He announced that as of January 16, 2020, the Council would not carry out further appointments of senior judicial positions until its new members were elected.”
The attempt to negotiate this summer did not bear fruit. The same as in November 2018, when a message from the then spokesman of the Senate PP, Ignacio Cosidó, was leaked, in which he boasted of placing a president of the Supreme Court that I would control “from behind” the court that had to judge, among other cases, that of the procés.
The idea of United We Can is to reissue in Plenary the vast majority that this same Sunday supported a joint communiqué of several groups in which the rest of the parliamentary forces were ordered to launch the renewal of the CGPJ. Achieving the support of, at least, those 187 deputies is the objective of a negotiation led by the president of the group, Jaume Asens, and which sources from the confederal group indicate that it is still underway. Basically, it would try to reissue the majority of the investiture, with the base of the PSOE and UP deputies, and with the addition of Junts per Catalunya. EH Bildu, for the moment, is out of this movement.
The legislation establishes a procedure to resolve conflicts between certain organs of the State. When one of these bodies considers that another of them adopts decisions assuming powers conferred on it by the Constitution or the organic laws, it can start the system. The Plenary of the body can raise the conflict to the other and, in case the conflict is not resolved, the Constitutional Court is in charge of doing so. This is how the articles establish 73 to 75 of the Organic Law of the Constitutional Court.
Until now, there have not been many occasions in which this mechanism has been activated. The last was during the government of Mariano Rajoy and confronted the Executive itself with the Congress, which complained about its discretionary vetoes of the opposition’s parliamentary initiatives. The high court it took almost two years to agree with Congress.