In his song The Times They Are A-Changin, Bob Dylan he asked congressmen and senators to listen to the call and not obstruct the passage because times were changing. Our politicians would do well to heed that advice, at least with regard to Justice.
The CGPJ has been in an interim situation for three years. At that time, the PP has justified its opposition to accepting any agreement to renew this and other constitutional bodies with changing and not very credible arguments. On the other hand, for more than three decades the PSOE has been justifying without fissures an exclusively parliamentary system of election of the CGPJ that has led to the discrediting of the institution and that, deep down, is the cause of the current situation of blockade.
Both remain anchored in outdated political practices, unable to understand that our society is changing course in the wake of the technological revolution. We need leaders capable of guiding us in these uncertain times, in which we are torn between a reactionary drive that seeks to tie ourselves to the past and a naive confidence in progress that despises the enormous dangers that unlimited technology holds for individual freedoms.
As regards Justice, Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Married they repeat ways of doing typical of another century. They cling to the old claim to control the Judiciary through the appointment of members of the CGPJ, disregarding the 40-year teachings of a system designed for that purpose, and perverted in practice by the two majority parties until it becomes unconstitutional. Despite everything, it has not allowed them to submit even a little to the independent Spanish courts. But it has, on the contrary, served to make citizens believe that independence is at risk.
Thinking that the parliamentary appointment of all the members of the CGPJ is a requirement of popular sovereignty shows intellectual destitution
Don’t we Spaniards deserve greater respect for our future? No democracy can be sustained without the rule of law, and the rule of law requires an independent justice that citizens perceive as such. Reinforcing the separation of powers is the best way to shore up our system of freedoms, and current Spanish politics, in which everything is allowed in order to scratch a few votes, is moving in exactly the opposite direction.
The CGPJ must be renewed because citizens must be able to trust that their institutions work properly. And the system for appointing members of the CGPJ has to be changed so that the public perception that politicians control justice disappears. The second requires adopting the recommendations of the Council of Europe, so that at least half of the members of the CGPJ are judges elected by the judges. This is what the European Commission, through its Commissioner for Justice, has recommended us to do, following in the wake of other countries that have already initiated reforms in accordance with European guidelines.
In Spain, it is essential that Sánchez and Casado assume that they are wrong. Stubbornly postponing the renewal of constitutional bodies is a suicide tactic for our institutions. To think that the parliamentary appointment of all the members of the CGPJ is a requirement of popular sovereignty is a sign of astonishing intellectual poverty. It cannot be that the Spaniards (the only ones along with the Poles to maintain a system like that) are the guardians of the quintessence of democracy in the EU.
Sánchez and Casado have to admit that they are wrong and admit that the other is partly right. Only in this way will we be able to get out of the institutional quagmire in which we find ourselves. It is not enough to renew the CGPJ, it is necessary to reform the designation system of its members assuming firmly and irrevocably that this reform, in the long term, is a requirement for the survival of our democratic system. That is the path that the European Commission has pointed out to us.
Our politicians have to look up, think less about their own party and more about the country
Judicial associations met on September 20 with the EU Justice Commissioner. In that meeting, Didier Reynders He insisted that the Commission will work to find a way out of the Spanish situation based on that idea: renewal of the CGPJ together with a firm and irrevocable commitment to reform the system for electing its members. But even before that meeting, the Spanish judges had begun to travel that path.
On September 13, in a joint communiqué, all the judicial associations indicated that we agree that the CGPJ must be renewed and that its judicial members must be elected by the judges. Overcoming a certain image of confrontation that had accompanied our actions in recent months, the associations were able to set aside our differences and send the message to society that, over and above discrepancies, we are aware that institutional normality and the strengthening of trust Citizens in our justice are key elements of our future and we are not going to let ourselves be dragged into the terrain of the old politics. The judges wanted to stop looking like part of the problem and become part of the solution.
That is the path that our politicians have yet to travel to be up to the task. Get rid of pettiness and raise your gaze. Think less about your own party and more about the country. In short, listen to the call of the future and stop blocking the way because times are changing.
*** Jorge Fernández Vaquero is a spokesperson for the Francisco de Vitoria Association of Judges and Magistrates.
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