The lack of political agreement and the impossibility of making appointments to the CGPJ is causing negative effects “in the entire judicial organization”
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The political significance of not renewing a constitutional body for years cannot be measured, but its day-to-day consequences can. It translates into dozens of positions of maximum responsibility in the judicial career that either remain vacant or remain extended for a long time.
It is at the top where the lack of renewal of the CGPJ in combination with the law that prevents him from making appointments has the most consequences. In the Supreme Court there are currently 16 vacancies not covered for deaths, retirements or new destinations. In a staff of 79 holders, this represents a relevant proportion -a fifth- and has already translated into a decrease in the resolutions issued.
The High Court is made up of five Chambers. In the First (Civil) one of the 10 magistrates that make it up is missing. The Second (Criminal) was lucky and was renewed shortly before the blockade of appointments, so it has its 15 members.
In the living room Third (Administrative Litigation), the largest with 33 magistrates, eight are missing, which before the end of the year will be 10 when adding another two retirements. As consolation, come back Carlos Lesmes after resigning from the presidency of the CGPJ and the TS.
In the living room Quarter (Social) the situation is critical. Its president and a magistrate have just retired and instead of 13 members it has eight to resolve issues that, with the economic crisis, only increase. Finally, in the fifth (Military) there are six of the eight planned magistrates and before the end of the year the figure will drop to five.
In the other judicial vertex, that of the Constitutional Court, the consequences of political disagreement are also suffered. One of its 12 members resigned in July for health reasons and has not been replaced. His replacement should be agreed upon in Congress with the votes of the PP and the PSOE, something unimaginable at this time.
To this is added that since June 12 four of the TC magistrates have their mandate extended. These are the two that must be appointed by the Council and the two that correspond to the Government. The CGPJ has not met the deadline that the Government set for it urgently, which in turn blocks the two names of the Executive. Beyond the numbers, the non-renewal supposes that the TC does not have the progressive majority that would correspond.
The blocking of appointments reaches other relevant positions. For example, that of the Presidency of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court. who held the position Mirror Conceptionwent to the Constitutional and his place has not been filled.
The list continues with the Superior Courts of Justice or the Provincial Courts. As of October 27, there are 52 unfilled places. Seven autonomous communities have the highest judicial authority, the Presidency of the TSJ, uncovered: Andalusia, Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, The Rioja, Castilla la Mancha Y Castile and Leon.
In these cases, the consequences are not as serious as in the Supreme Court, since those whose mandate has expired remain in office and, if they retire, the law indicates who should replace them. The four uncovered places that correspond to designate the autonomies in the TSJ have been left unfilled
The accumulated list of vacancies serves as a number for the x-ray that Lesmes made in the presence of the King on September 7 at the opening ceremony of the judicial year: “The mess is so great that a similar situation had not occurred in the dome of Spanish Justice throughout the history of our democracy, with negative effects that gradually spread to the entire judicial organization”.