Time keeps passing and lock you maintains without renewing one of the constitutional bodies, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) has already exceeded 1,100 days, as recalled this Wednesday by the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, who holds the PP exclusively responsible for the current situation. The consequences of such an unprecedented situation require decisions to be made, and the meeting to be held on the 22nd Llop herself with the members of the Supreme Court Governing Chamberthey have indicated to El Periódico de España, newspaper of the same group, Prensa Ibérica, that this newspaper, sources of this organ.
The desirability of this meeting was discussed yesterday during a work lunch held between the minister and the President of the Supreme Court, Carlos Lesmes. Regarding this meeting, the Ministry of Justice reported that it had served to prepare a meeting “of the working groups of the Ministry of Justice and the CGPJ to be held in the coming weeks” with the aim of addressing “the problems arising from the blockade in the renewal of the governing body of the Judiciary”.
Sources from the CGPJ, however, describe the meeting as merely institutional and add, regarding his eventual visit to the Supreme Court, that all justice ministers meet at some point with the Government Chambera tradition that Llop has not yet fulfilled and that would be added to the one that took place on December 4, 2020 as the starter Juan Carlos Field. This body is chaired by Lesmes and it includes the presidents of each of its Chambers (Civil, Criminal, Contentious-Administrative, Social and Military) plus others five justices elected by their peers.
In any case, the visit will take place just a few days after, on January 31, this government body of the high court made a move to avoid the expected collapse due to the impossibility of filling vacancies in the face of the avalanche of resources that are expected in the next dates for measures against covid. These claims were filed by citizens and professionals who claim to have suffered compensable damages through the channel of patrimonial responsibility of the Stateand whose requests have been rejected by the Council of Ministersso that appeal to the Supreme.
Faced with this forecast, the precarious situation of the competent Chamber, which is the Contentious-Administrative. Starting next April, with thes retirements of judges Rafael Fernández Valverde and Segundo Menéndez, will have only 25 magistrates (normally there are about 30), which means the legal minimum to constitute its five sections, since each of them must have at least five magistrates.
For this reason, the Government Chamber agreed to formally ask the Ministry of Justice to provide it with a new Secretariat, with a lawyer from the Administration of Justice and the appropriate civil servant, as well as the provision of at least three positions for coordinating lawyers in the Technical Office of the court to be provided by magistrates of the contentious-administrative jurisdictional order. They also claim that the Government promotes a legislative reform of the cassation appeal contentious-administrative for provide a faster and more efficient response to that “massive litigationand all this can be discussed at the meeting on the 22nd.
Reform for the TC
Other sources consulted by El Periódico de España, a newspaper of the same group, Prensa Ibérica, that this newspaper, do not rule out that the meeting will serve so that the Government can test the position of the CGPJ regarding another legislative reform aimed at ensuring a majority next June progressive in the Constitutional Court. It would be about facilitating, through a modification in the Organic Law of the Judicial Power (LOPJ), that the Government can designate the two candidates that correspond to it regardless of whether or not the CGPJ is unable to meet the other two of its quota because its members have vetoed it, having completed its mandate.
The council member Jose Maria Macias, for his part, doubts that Justice intends to respond to the Supreme Court’s requirements. In his opinion, the Ministry insists on its policy of harming the course of the Supreme Court to wield it as a bargaining chip with the PP to achieve renewal.
This member explains that this seems to stem from the only decision adopted at the moment by the department of LLop, by extending for one more year the extraordinary staff of 12 lawyers -one of them coordinator- on commission with relief of functions for the civil, criminal, contentious-administrative and social areas of the Technical Cabinet to the high court until December 2021. “It was announced with a lot of hype, but actually hides that they do not agree to the expansion of the template requested by the Supreme to try to alleviate the lack of appointments of magistrates,” he tells this newspaper.
The ball, on the roof of the PP
For her part, and when asked this Wednesday, coinciding with her visit to the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, Llop has charged once again against the PP whom he accuses of blocking the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). He has stressed that Those of Pablo Casado are the ones who “have the key” for the governing body of the judges to be renewed after more than 1,100 days in office, reports Europe Press. Therefore, he has asked the ‘popular’ to go “in favor of the State, in favor of the citizens and in favor of the Constitution“and comply with the law by renewing that constitutional body.
It should be remembered that while they are in office, the members of the council cannot make discretionary appointments at the top of the judiciary, something that affects, for example, the Chambers of the Supreme Court that see how vacancies are not renewed. “The impact -of the blockade- is so negative that it affects more than a thousand cases a year”, Llop has pointed out.