Persists the blockade in the Constitutional Court and there are no signs of imminent renewal after the meeting this Wednesday between the representatives of the conservative and progressive members of the CGPJ has ended no agreement to nominate their candidates. The progressive sector has already put nine names on the table, but the conservatives insist that they cannot find candidates and that they need more time. Both parties have expressed their willingness to reach an agreement as soon as possible, but there is no date for a next meeting to unlock this situation before the plenary session of the CGPJ on September 29a date that coincides with the visit to Spain of the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.
This has been the second time the members have met JOsé Antonio Ballestero and Carmen Llombart (from the conservative sector) and Álvaro Cuesta, Rafael Mozo and Roser Bach (for the progressive) since the expiration of the legal term of the reform of the Government for the renewal of the Constitutional Court, on September 13.
The first meeting took place last week, when both sides reached a minimum agreement to set the rules of negotiation. They agreed that the two Constitutional magistrates that correspond to them to designate (the other two correspond to the Government) be selected by a “large majority” among the judges currently serving in the Supreme Court after a “thorough evaluation” of their resumes.
The progressives have nine candidates and the conservatives have none.
The progressive representatives advanced that they will bring to this second meeting the resumes of nine applicants, among which Lucas, the judge in charge of controlling the actions of the CNI, stands out; María Luisa Segoviano, the first woman to preside over a Chamber (the Social Chamber) of the high court; and his military counterpart, Jacobo López Barja de Quiroga.
The list is completed by the magistrates of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber José Manuel Bandrés, Eduardo Espín, Isabel Perelló and Ángeles Huet, as well as the retired magistrate Rafael Fernández Valverde (who was part of that same chamber and of the current CGPJ) and the magistrate of the Social Room Rosa María Viroles.
Nevertheless, Conservative spokesmen assure that they have not received any candidacy of no magistrate of the Supreme, “beyond a mere brief, informal and initial contact maintained by a single person with a member on an individual basis,” according to the statement released after the conclave. In a statement after the meeting, they emphasize that “the relevance of these appointments requires that the principle of efficiency and not that of urgency”.
The progressivesfor their part, hope that both parties can reach an agreement before the plenary session of the CGPJ that its president, Carlos Lesmes, has convened for next September 29 and they have recorded in a post-meeting note that they are not “responsible for the delay that is taking place” in the renewal of the Constitutional.
Involvement of the EU Justice Commissioner
The conservative bloc already attended the first meeting last week without candidates and everything predicted that the same thing would happen this Wednesday. Sources from this sector to Europa Press trust that the visit of the Commissioner for Justice of the European Union, Didier Reynders, at the end of the month serve to unblock the negotiations around the Judiciary.
Reynders said on Tuesday in statements to the press that during his stay in Spain, between September 29 and 30, he could not limit himself only to asking for dialogue between the political forces so that they agree on the renewal of the CGPJ but to get directly involved.
The sources point out that a global agreement (which encompasses both the General Council of the Judiciary and the Constitutional Court) could be the magic formula to end the blockade in both institutions.
Out of time
The Executive, which limited the functions of the CGPJ to make appointments, promoted a second reform, approved last July, to return to the Council its ability to make appointments only to elect its two candidates for the Constitutional and to do so before September 13, a date exceeded that in fact, from a large part of the CGPJ it was always seen as indicative. That reform is the focus of criticism from the conservativeswhich already at the beginning of September threatened to boycott the renewal of the TC as a protest, although later the candidates were opened to agree, although, yes, without a date.
The underlying problem is that on June 12 the mandate expired of the president of the TC, Pedro González-Trevijano, of the vice-president Juan Antonio Xiol and of Antonio Narváez and Santiago Martínez-Vares, the four magistrates that form the third that the Constitution orders to renew the Government and CGPJ, with two each.
Although the Government had ruled out naming its two candidates before the CGPj did so, this Wednesday the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has opened up to it. Yes, she has crossed out of “serious” the possible resignation of the president of the Council of the Judicial Power (CGPJ), Carlos Lesmes, due to a lack of agreement between the members to renew the Constitutional Court and to unblock the Judicial Power, which has been in office for almost four years due to the lack of agreement between the Government and the PP.
This Wednesday, the state attorney generalÁlvaro García Ortiz, has branded the situation “unsustainable” and has warned that it is not possible to continue placing conditions on a constitutional mandate.