The judiciary is one of the three pillars of the rule of law. While relations between the legislature and the executive are generally in good health, relations with the judiciary are stormy. A part of the doctrine, the Congress and the judges themselves consider that the parliamentarians should not be the only ones to intervene in the election of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ). This is not the case in other so-called constitutional bodies, which require qualified majorities. Secondly, A part of Spanish society considers that in the case of the judges there was no democratization operation like the one that took place in the Army led by Narcís Serra and Lluís Reverter. And although there are no magistrates appointed by Franco, the truth is that some family sagas survive and access to the judiciary continues to be a merit contest for which a good economic cushion is needed to access. So that The choice of the government of the judges, the CGPJ, is always dramatic, among other things, because appointments in chambers that are judging matters of the parties that govern, have governed or will govern depend on it..

Arnaldo, the toad in the PSOE’s shoe

The deficit of democratic culture that Spain suffers, aggravated by the demand for transparency in the 21st century, has turned what would have to be an exemplary election by consensus in the grotesque quotas. The usual obstructionism of the PP that prolongs the renewals of the constitutional bodies far beyond their absolute parliamentary majorities makes the PSOE despair and takes quotas to the extreme until accepting a guy like Enrique Arnaldo to form part of the Constitutional Court waiting for this to open the way to a pact in the CGPJ. You don’t have to be a specialist in Madrid judicial ins and outs to realize that We are not dealing with a “conservative-minded magistrate & rdquor; but before a hooligan of the Popular Party fully related to the branches of training that most often go through the courts, and not on an official visit but to sit on the bench. In addition, it is a type that implies that he has always lived above his income as a judge and has frequently gone to moonlighting, without much regard for the incompatibilities he incurred in that complex border between public and private.

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The glass ceiling of wages

Cases like Arnaldo’s raise the suspicion that judges are not well paid. The maximum salary to which a judge can aspire on his own merits is 2,500 euros per month for 14 payments. higher than the average for wage earners but much lower than for profiles with the same level of training in the private sphere. This circumstance explains résumés such as Arnaldo’s. There are only two ways to progress and achieve remuneration according to the merits: either combine the judiciary with private activity or enter into the politicking of the quotas that emanate from the election of the highest governing body, the CGPJ, and climb the ladder by cooptation. If the majority of the investiture really wanted to reform the judiciary, it could start by propose a transparent scheme for the compatibility of judges in private activity such as that of public health doctors, for example. Interestingly, that would make the judges freer from the clutches of the Council and, to achieve this, they would need a smaller majority than their renewal.

Factions do not accept sanctions

Downstream, the perversion of quotas makes each judicial faction protect its own without the slightest dose of self-criticism. Belonging to a faction makes a judge untouchable. This is the only way to explain that Arnaldo’s misdeeds went unpunished. Or that the European ridicule to which Pablo Llarena has subjected the Spanish judiciary in his persecution of Carles Puigdemont has not led the CGPJ to take action on the matter. The toads that the parties in Congress swallow in the election of the government of the judges causes the judicial factions to protect their own as long as they do not err on the side when it comes to judging the Government, whether of one or the other.

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