Former judge of the Supreme Court of Justice Eugenio Zaffaroni and the former Minister of Justice of the Nation Leon Arslanian They spoke out this Wednesday in favor of increasing the number of judges of the highest court, when presenting in the Senate during the debate on the reform of that body promoted by the Front of All (FdT).
Zaffaroni, even manifested in favor of a composition of 24 judgesone proposed by each province, to give a “true federal sense” to the conduct of the court and considered that “the fundamental thing is to be clear about the institutional defects” of the Judiciary, beyond the number of its members.
“This is a political issue of institutional engineering,” said the former magistrate, adding that “it is urgent to resolve” those defects that concern the functioning of the Court.
For Zaffaroni, “to solve the conflicts of the citizens and to guarantee the supremacy of the constitutional norms”, two of the objectives that the role of the Court has, “are not done in a satisfactory way”.
assured that The current structure of the Argentine judicial system “is irrational”affirmed that “it has been deteriorating over the years” and questioned that the concentration of the resolution of cases in only three people “is a republican problem”.
“As great as these people are, the concentration of power is a problem,” he said, referring to the current judges of the Court, who are four after the resignation of the only woman who was part of it, Ellen Highton of Nolasco.
Zaffaroni added that “it is time to think seriously about a federal court” and did not rule out a formation with 24 members, one for each district.
“Without touching the Constitution, the President of the Republic can limit himself. The governors are asked to provide two names, a man and a woman, and they agree to send the statement and we would have a court of 24 ministers“, he exemplified.
“There are not many for a Cassation function and a constitutionality control function,” he remarked.
The former judge of the Court maintained that “throughout history, the majority of the judges of the Supreme Court have been from the City of Buenos Aires or the province of Buenos Aires and graduated from the UBA.”
He also gave a hypothetical case as an example, indicating that “in a possible constitutional reform, a constitutional court could be created and the only thing that would have to be done is to take the last instance of constitutionality control out of the Court, place it in the constitutional court and leave the supreme court as it is, as a court of cassation, without moving any judge, which is always a problematic thing”.
Regarding the ruling that brought back the formation of the Council of the Judiciary to the reform prior to 2006, Zaffaroni maintained that is “an experience that will discredit the Councilwhich has gone wrong since the reform of the Constitution of 1994″.
For his part, former minister Arslanian did not rule out that the alternative proposed by Zaffaroni of increase the number of judges of the Court to 24 and said that in any case it should not be less than ten.
“The objective of having more judges is to get the cases out faster but also the strengthening the debate on important federal issues“, he pointed out and said that “three people cannot only discuss a sensitive issue such as the gender issue or abortion to decide what will later be the law applicable to 44 million inhabitants.”
Arlasnian also expressed that the requirement of rotation in the presidency of the court is necessary and said that “the Court would not cease to be one because it is made up of several chambers”, another of the points proposed in the four bills that are discussed in the Senate.
“An example -he said- is the one that arises with the Council of the Judiciary: nobody questions that it is only one, even though the laws that regulated it established powers that are proper to the plenary.”
The former judge Maria Garrigos de Reborianother of the speakers invited to the plenary session of senators by the ruling party, considered that this is “the opportunity” to discuss “the increase in the number of judges on the Court, gender parity and the division by chambers.”
He also stated that the Court “does not serve to integrate the Council of the Judiciary, it is not part of the instances, it is not a fourth instance.”
He also proposed that “periodically, every few years, the judges give an account of their management and show what they did, how much they received and how much they took out.”
“The Judiciary is still a bureaucracy and a bureaucracy has to show how it worksGarrigos stressed.
The Senate finished this Wednesday the second round of exhibitors on the four bills presented by the Front of All to reform the composition of the Court.
Parliamentary sources reported that the discussion would resume next June in committee for the issuance of the opinion and its elevation to the full body.
The texts analyzed are from senators Alberto Weretilnek (Together We Are Río Negro), Adolfo Rodríguez Saá (FdT-San Luis), Silvia Sapag (FdT-Neuquén) and Clara Vega (Hay Futuro-La Rioja), and all propose greater federalism and appointment of judges by region, as well as gender parity.