The Council of the Magistracy made progress in preparing regulations for judges and lawyers to organize elections that allow them to appoint their new representatives to the body. As reported, the Supreme Court declared the current composition of the body that elects and evaluates magistrates unconstitutional, and ordered the number of councilors to be expanded to twenty. President Alberto Fernández had announced his intention to advance in Congress with a Council reform project, but it is not yet clear whether the conditions will be met for his treatment in extraordinary sessions.
After a debate of more than three hours, the plenary of the Council of the Magistracy decided to transfer the draft of the regulation to the Argentine Federation of Bar Associations (FACA) and the Public Bar Association of the Federal Capital (CPACF), so that these institutions return their comments and proposals and it can finally be voted on.
In the case of judges, the Regulation commission unanimously approved the regulations so that magistrates from all over the country can vote for the judge who will be part of the council. As the Council already has two male judges, Agustín Lugones and Juan Manuel Culotta, the call will be limited to judges to adapt the process to the standards sought by Justice in matters of gender.
Along with the academic representative, who will be chosen by the National Interuniversity Council (CIN), the judges have a simpler choice than the lawyers since it is estimated that about 700 will vote, against the 25 thousand lawyers who voted in the last elections for counselors.
In accordance with the Court’s decision, by mid-April the body must return to the composition of twenty members and, for this, it must incorporate, in addition to the president of the highest court, Horacio Rosatti, two representatives of the lawyers (one by CABA and another by the interior); a judge and an academic.
The Transitory Regulation –which the Council outlined for each sector– was drawn up after a series of hearings with the representatives who agreed that the deadlines are too short and expressed concern about not having updated registers.
Beyond criticism, the institutions promised to meet the deadlines and thus collaborate so that the body that appoints the judges can continue to function beyond the time limit set by the Court.
Council sources estimated that by next week the body would be in a position to vote on the regulation for lawyers.
Meanwhile, the Executive Power has yet to decide whether to promote the treatment in extraordinary legislative sessions of a reform project of the Council of the Magistracy. Congress has until April 15 to enact a new law or it must return to its original composition of 20 members that the ’97 law supported.