The European People’s Party (PPE) and the Party of European Socialists (PES) show a double standard when it comes to talking about independence from Justice.
Pact between PP and PSOE to share the Spanish Constitutional Court
Today the Popular Party (PP) has announced an agreement with the Socialist Party to distribute the new magistrates of the Constitutional Court of Spain (TC). As the newspaper El Mundo has warned, the renewal will consist of placing four magistrates related to populars and socialists. In addition, one of those proposed was a member of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) at the proposal of the Communists of the Izquierda Unida, who today are part of the fourth most voted group in Congress, the far-leftist United We Can. The third most voted party in Spain, Vox, has been excluded from the pact between PP and PSOE, so it will not have magistrate members in the TC.
Indignation in the judicial leadership by the elected magistrates
The pact between the PP and the PSOE has caused outrage in the judicial leadership, because none of those proposed comes from the Supreme Court, so the decisions of this court will now be evaluated by magistrates from lower courts. It so happens that the two magistrates proposed by the PSOE for the TC tried to access the Supreme Court but did not succeed, as they were rejected by the CGPJ. Now, without having gone through the Supreme Court, they will dedicate themselves to reviewing their sentences. Judicial criticisms of the agreement include the “degradation of the academic profile” of the new magistrates, who are second-rate according to the Organic Law of the Judiciary, but yes, related to the parties that appoint them.
24 hours earlier socialists and popular demanded “independence” from the Polish Court
There is the paradox that this pact comes only 24 hours after an European resolution against Poland supported by popular, socialists and communists that qualifies the Polish Constitutional Court as “illegitimate”, accusing it of lacking “legal validity and independence”, and affirming that “the fundamental right to an effective remedy requires access to an independent tribunal.” And all because it has voted on a sentence that has not been to the liking of these political groups, as national law prevails over community law, as courts in nine other European countries had already done before.
Two equally politicized courts: why does one bother and the other not?
The election system of the Polish Constitutional Court (TK) is determined by Article 194 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, approved in 1997, when the current ruling party of that country, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, partner of Vox, did not even exist yet. The TK is made up of 15 judges elected by the Sejm, the Polish Parliament, for a period of 9 years. In addition, the president and vice president of the TK are appointed by the President of the Republic from among the candidates proposed by the General Assembly of Judges of the TK.
The Constitutional Court of Spain (TC) is made up of 12 members. Its election system is determined by Article 159 of the Spanish Constitution. According to this article, four magistrates are appointed by Congress, four by the Senate, two by the Government and two by the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), for a period of 9 years. The members of the CGPJ are elected by the parties with representation in Congress, so that in the end it is a court as politicized as the Polish one. The question is why the European Parliament has waited 24 years to object to the lack of independence of the TK, and at the same time does not object to its Spanish counterpart. Perhaps the explanation is that the political groups that share the Spanish Constitutional Court, popular and socialist, are the same that control the European Parliament and the European Commission.
Photo: La Moncloa. The socialist Pedro Sánchez, president of the government of Spain, shaking hands with Pablo Casado, president of the Popular Party, during a meeting between the two at the Palacio de La Moncloa.
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