Last Tuesday, March 29, the Council of the Judiciary gave a press conference where it announced the closing of the registration period for those interested in occupying one of the two seats that will remain vacant in the Superior Court of Electoral Justice (TSJE) this year .
One of the 34 listed is Juan Bartolomé “Ancho” Ramírez, a former national senator, who just resigned from Congress to run for the TSJE. The now ex-legislator was the target of questions because he does not comply with the provisions of article 275 of the National Constitution.
The article says verbatim that “during a term of 10 years, at least, (the applicants), they must have effectively practiced the profession.” According to the documents delivered by Ramírez, he was only sworn in as a lawyer in August 2012, taking the oath of office in November of that same year.
As the elections will be held in April, the established period of time has not yet been met.
When asked about this, Óscar Paciello, president of the Judicial Council, fell into contradictions. First of all, he said that the legal department will decide whether or not Ramírez has the requirements. However, he later said that the former senator complies with all the rules and will only be scrutinized if his candidacy is challenged. Something that finally happened a day later.
The lawyer Eduardo Pérez Avid, on his own behalf, filed a challenge against Ramírez’s candidacy last Wednesday, March 30. He pointed out that the claim is due to the fact that the former legislator does not comply with the conditions established by the National Constitution. “We must be clear on this issue, one can finish the degree, but the cardboard that is delivered to the educational institution must be previously registered with the MEC. Once registered, you just meet the title requirement, ”he said.
Avid affirms that for lawyers, the instance that allows them to carry out their work is the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), and this body only enables prior registration and delivery. Fact that Ramírez only obtained it in November 2012.
Rubén Antonio Galeano, president of the National Council of Lawyers of Paraguay (Conap), stated that article 275 of the National Constitution leaves no room for misunderstanding. That is, the profession must have been exercised for 10 years or the function of a judicial magistracy or the university chair, jointly or alternately.
“This means that one can teach for three years as a university teacher, another five years as a Magistracy and two years as a professional, so we would have 10 years, but it cannot be done if I only practiced for five years, to cite an example. The task carried out by the Council of the Judiciary must ensure strict compliance with the National Constitution”, he stated.
Galeano pointed out that for the exercise of the profession, one is enabled from the moment he swears as a lawyer before the Supreme Court of Justice.
From there the exercise of the profession is computed. With this, Ramírez is not authorized to practice the profession.
He finally said that the Council of the Judiciary ex officio should have reviewed all the files and not wait to receive challenges to issue opinions.