Monday, October 25

The Judicial Power approves at least six appointments after the PSOE and PP break for renewal | Spain

The president of the Supreme Court and of the General Council of the Judiciary, Carlos Lesmes, presides this Thursday in Pontevedra the plenary session of the CGPJ.
The president of the Supreme Court and of the General Council of the Judiciary, Carlos Lesmes, presides this Thursday in Pontevedra the plenary session of the CGPJ.Salvador Sas / EFE

The plenary session of General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) has managed to carry out at least six of the eight appointments that it had on the table, although it has chosen to postpone two of the most important: a magistrate position in the First (Civil) Chamber of the Supreme Court and another in the Fourth Chamber (Social). The members, whose mandate has been extended since December 2018 in the absence of a political agreement for its renewal, have reached an agreement in extremis to choose the third position in the high court, the magistrate Antonio García in the First Chamber. García was assigned until now in the Civil and Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country.

The members of the Council were summoned this Thursday to an extraordinary plenary session to approve eight discretionary appointments that were postponed last week due to the possibility that the PSOE and the PP reached an agreement to renew the governing body of the judges. The members opted a week ago to stop the appointments, almost assuming that, seven days later, the agreement for the renewal would be official, which, predictably, would have led the majority of Council members to renounce those votes and leave them now. in the hands of his successors. But the breakdown of the negotiations between socialists and popular has changed the scene and the plenary session of the CGPJ has faced divided the session of this Thursday.

However, the plenary session has obtained enough votes to approve six of the eight planned appointments, although the result of the voting is far from the comfortable majorities obtained in all the appointments that have been addressed in recent months. The three most important seats of the six approved (that of the Supreme Court and the presidencies of the higher courts of the Basque Country and the Canary Islands) have come out with the fair majority of three-fifths (13 votes) necessary. According to sources from the body, the three votes have ended with the same result: 13 votes in favor and seven blank. The latter correspond to five magistrates from the progressive sector who have already been voting blank in the last plenary sessions, understanding that the current members are no longer entitled to decide discretionary appointments (Concepción Sáez, Álvaro Cuesta, Pilar Sepúlveda, Clara Martínez de Careaga and Rafael Mozo ) and two from the conservative wing (Juan Martínez Moya and Juan Manuel Fernández).

In the case of the presidencies of the regional courts, a second vote has also been necessary, since in the first none of the candidates obtained the minimum number of votes to take over the position. The appointments have finally fallen to the current president of the Provincial Court of Gipuzkoa, Ignacio José Subijana (Basque Country) and to the holder of the Civil Registry 1 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Juan Luis Lorenzo Bragado (Canary Islands).

The other positions required only a simple majority, which the plenary session has achieved, although also with little margin. The members have appointed Garbiñe Biurrun as president of the Social Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country (12 votes), José Antonio Vega Bravo as president of the Provincial Court of Salamanca (14 votes) and Luis Miguel Columna as President of the Provincial Court of Almería (13 votes).

The other two places provided for in the Supreme Court have been removed from the agenda because, according to the members consulted, there was not a sufficient majority to carry them out. The intention of the Council is to include them again in the ordinary plenary session scheduled for March 25, where, in addition, it is intended to include two other positions of the high court, in this case in the Third Chamber, a key chamber because it is the one that decides on all matters that affect the Government or the Judiciary itself. The members consulted foresee that negotiations will begin in the coming weeks to try to reach an agreement on these future votes.

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