The three associations that cover the judicial center-right space have mobilized in favor of the theses proposed by the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, to negotiate the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). These organizations – the Professional Association of the Judiciary (APM, which is the majority among the associated judges), the Francisco de Vitoria (AJFV) and the Independent Judicial Forum (FJI) – released a joint statement on Wednesday in which they claim that – as required by the PP— the 12 members of said Council from the judicial career are elected by the members of the judiciary, and not by the Courts; Furthermore, to underline the importance of their claim, they request an interview with the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.
The three associations, however, do not come to defend – as Casado does – that this change of model in the election of the CGPJ should be an indispensable condition to proceed with the renewal of the Council, pending for two and a half years.
The argument of the signatory organizations is that the change of model so that it is the judges directly, and not the parliamentary groups, who elect the members of the governing body of the Judiciary is a requirement of the Council of Europe through the Group of States against corruption (GRECO) and the European Commission. They also mention that this criterion is shared by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and that the CGPJ surveys have shown that Spanish citizens support it. In fact, the aforementioned judicial associations have been proposing this change for years, which it has now reconsidered, coinciding with the demand of the PP that said legal modification be put in place as a precondition for any agreement on the renewal of the Council.
CGPJ sources believe that the PP is willing to accept that this legal change is carried out for the next renewal, not for the one that is now trying to unblock. In principle, that could facilitate the negotiation. But the PP has not shown that this is the case; on the contrary, in their latest speeches the party leaders have stressed that they will not sit down to negotiate until the law is changed.
The other important association of the sector, Judges and Judges for Democracy (JJpD), considers that the current law has to be complied with, without prejudice to the fact that reforms are studied for later, and this will be explained to the European Commissioner of Justice in an interview which already has this association with Reynders scheduled in Brussels on the 20th.
On the other hand, sources of the Council indicated this Wednesday that in the next plenary session the proposal on a “call to ranks” of retired magistrates to fill the vacant positions that are now not being able to be filled by the interim of the Council will not be voted on. The matter will be discussed if there is a formal initiative in this regard, but a decision will not be made until a critical situation arises in one of the five Supreme Court Chambers or in one of the Superior Courts of Justice, these sources emphasize.