Today in Spain a serious blow to the rule of law and, specifically, to the separation of powers, by the left has been consummated.
They liquidate judicial independence in a hurry and through the back door
In a way never seen before, two organic laws have been modified, that of Power
Judiciary (1985) and the Constitutional Court (1979), by urgent means and through two mere amendments (number 61 and number 62), tabled by the socialists of the PSOE and by the communists of Podemos to a bill prepared by themselves and in which the mandatory reports of the advisory bodies of the State have been omitted when modifying such relevant laws. They liquidate judicial independence in a hurry and through the back door.
A reform that violates Articles 122 and 159 of the Spanish Constitution
The two amendments approved by the left and its separatist partners eliminate the requirement of a qualified vote of three fifths for the election of the members of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) and the Constitutional Court (TC) , in such a way that the government will be able to control both judicial bodies with a simple majority. It is a reform that clearly violates the Spanish Constitution, as the parliamentary opposition has warned.
Specifically, this change violates Article 122 and Article 159 of the Spanish Constitution, which establish that the members of the CGPJ and the TC elected by Congress and the Senate will be "by a majority of three-fifths of its members". This is what Article 122.3 states:
"The General Council of the Judiciary shall consist of the President of the Supreme Court, who shall preside it, and of twenty members appointed by the King for a five-year term, amongst whom shall be twelve judges and magistrates of all judicial categories, under the terms established by the organic law; four nominated by the Congress of Deputies and four by the Senate, elected in both cases by three-fifths of their members from amongst lawyers and other jurists of acknowledged competence and over fifteen years of professional experience."
Likewise, Article 159.1 states the following:
"The Constitutional Court shall consist of twelve members appointed by the King. Of these, four shall be nominated by Congress by a majority of three-fifths of its members, four shall be nominated by the Senate with the same majority, two shall be nominated by the Government, and two by the General Council of the Judiciary."
The reform contradicts what the PSOE said in the preamble of a law
In 1985 the PSOE already altered that election system through the Organic Law of the Judiciary, which established that the 20 members of the CGPJ would be elected by the Cortes, that is, by politicians. However, that law established that a three-fifths majority would be necessary for his election, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. In the preamble to that law, its editor, who was the PSOE, stated:
"The requirement of a highly qualified majority of three-fifths –which the Constitution requires for the election of the other members– guarantees, at the same time as absolute coherence with the general character of the system democracy, the convergence of diverse forces and avoids the formation of a General Council that responds to a concrete and circumstantial parliamentary majority."
In 2016 the PSOE said that this three-fifths majority was necessary to preserve pluralism
Furthermore: in an appeal filed by the PSOE to the TC in 2016, the socialists argued that this three-fifths majority was also necessary in the appointment of Supreme Court Justices and senior judicial officials: "it must be done with the reinforced majority of three-fifths over the total members of the Council, in order to preserve pluralism within the judicial organization and harmonize the requirements for the appointment of members of the Courts that culminate the constitutional rule of law."
In other words: the PSOE contradicts what that party stated 6 years ago and launches to liquidate the constitutional rule of law, using its own words. And all to gain control of the Judiciary. It is a clear attack against the separation of powers and against democracy.
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