It is not convenient for citizens to doubt the independence of the Court: José Ramón Cossío


If the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation is avoiding confrontation with the federal government, delaying the resolution of cases in which decisions of the federal Executive are involved, it may affect the perception of its independence, raised the retired minister José Ramón Cossío Díaz .

In interview with The Economistthe renowned former member of the SCJN plenary, explained that if people begin to think that the Court is not independent or not as independent as it conceives itself, I could have the enormous inconvenience that they begin to mistrust.

He also commented that he is not concerned that the Court does not have the legitimacy that comes from the polls and is faced with a president precisely with enormous electoral legitimacy, since he said, his function is precisely to control, in terms of constitutional decisions, those who were elected. democratically.

—What is your opinion that there are so many controversial decisions of the federal government before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation?

—This seems to me to be relatively normal since constitutional controversies began. I believe that litigation should not be seen as something negative, because there are different parties that are having their different positions and those parties, fortunately, take their cases to court so that they can be resolved peacefully.

If the cases were taken to litigation then it would mean that there are hidden forms of resolution or that we would already be in the presence of greater political violence than we have.

So, I think it’s healthy, let me put it that way, in terms of a democracy, of a constitutional system that the parties litigate and try to resolve their conflicts through the law, through the operation of the rules of law.

—Is it normal for there to be this delay in resolving issues that are relevant to public opinion and even to the government?

—There have been several calculations. I have seen articles in the Nexos magazine, one by Dr. María Amparo Casar and Saúl López Noriega, another by Héctor Aguilar Camín, another by Laurence Pantin, among others, that they have been measuring and there are cases that seem to be falling behind or that are already behind in relation to what should be the average time for resolving cases.

– Is the SCJN avoiding confrontation with the government?

—Several of the analysts who have been making these remarks do consider that there are some cases that are indeed very relevant to the political process for the President of the Republic and that precisely those cases have already been delayed. Above all, I think they have made a reflection on those that have to do with militarization, different cases that involve the armed forces and it seems that they are outside the range of time, of period, in which they should have been resolved.

That is why I found that book by Mrs. Casar and López Noriega very interesting and I found Professor Pantin’s article very important, which shows that it does seem that there is a deviation due to time in matters that should have been resolved or failed.

And if this is so, it could be one of the explanations that what they are trying to do is avoid conflict with the President of the Republic, precisely by not discussing cases that could be useful to the President himself.

—The issue is whether this affects the independence of the Court. Given that, how do you consider the independence of the Court at this time?

—It can affect independence for a reason. There is an independence, I am going to put it this way, there is also an independence as a symbolic one, it is not only what the court believes what it is doing, but how people believe that the court is behaving.

If people begin to think that the Court is not independent or not as independent as it conceives itself or declares itself to be, I could have the enormous inconvenience that people begin to distrust the Supreme Court and distrust the the Supreme Court, stop taking your matters there and when you stop taking your matters, because they do not find a seat or space for resolution and this increases the violence, insecurity, and impunity in the country.

—If we incorporate into this analysis the fact that the SCJN does not have the legitimacy that the polls give and is facing a president who has enormous legitimacy through the polls, how does that play into the relationship between those powers?

—That is a problem already discussed many years ago. I am not concerned that the Court does not have the legitimacy that comes from the polls, for a reason, because its function is precisely to control, in terms of constitutional decisions, those who were democratically elected.

So I think there are two functions. At the end of the day, it is so supported in the constitution some as others.

—Throughout the current federal government, the SCJN has made various media-relevant resolutions. In some it has been applauded and in others it has received some criticism. If the resolutions were reviewed together, where would that balance point?

—I think that, as in everything, people applaud or disapprove of decisions if they like them or don’t like them. If a person wants to see the realization of a right and if that right is accepted by the Court in a resolution, he will say: what a magnificent decision and vice versa.

I think that the important thing here is to attend to two things. One, to see and read the decisions of the Court and see not only what is being resolved but also what is not being resolved.

If you, for example, realize that for whatever reason, certain topics are not being discussed or those topics are being ignored, well, I do think that is highly reprehensible. There is a first element. Now, since you can see the discussions, you should also watch them, but read the sentences.

One of the problems that arise in this country is that very few people analyze judicial decisions. Rather, people make value judgments, which of course are within their rights, but they don’t read what the court rulings say and how the rulings are constructed.

There I do believe that there is a significant deficit in terms of public discussion to be able to have a more complete position on these cases.

—Precisely to be able to do that exercise, how important is it to have the enlargements?

—Academicians and researchers complain that those corresponding to various relevant resolutions have not been made public.

The thickenings are a central element. Without thickening it is as if there were no sentence. Jurisprudence cannot be extracted. I think this is a matter of the greatest importance.

Lately I haven’t gone to see where those increases are, but I do hear that some people complain that decisions dictated long ago still don’t have the increase.

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