The negotiation between conservatives and progressives of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) on the renewal of the Constitutional Court continues to be stalled due to the succession of excuses and changing conditions of the hard core of members elected at the proposal of the PP, which has been delaying for more than two months some designations that should have been made before September 13. The last meeting of the interlocutors of both sectors, held this Wednesday, has ended without any progress that allows us to venture an early release of these appointments.
The Supreme Court refuses to provisionally suspend the appointment of the interim president of the Judiciary
The conservative members still have not put a name on the table and are now demanding to have veto power over the candidate of the other group, Supreme Court judge José Manuel Bandrés. The progressives reject this approach, confirm sources in this sector to elDiario.es. In this way, any possibility that the Constitutional may be renewed in plenary session to be held this Thursday is removed. Negotiators will meet again on November 30. The governing body of the judges has been in office for almost four years with a correlation of forces of a conservative majority.
The conservative councilors condition the negotiations on the progressives accepting a change in “discussion methodology” in which each group “evaluates or values the proposal of the other and not merely accepts the only candidate they propose,” they explain in this sector. This proposal means breaking with the tacit agreement with which the CGPJ has always worked and by which each block chooses a candidate and that name is accepted by the other group without crossed vetoes. The progressive members reject this new demand, which they interpret as a questioning of their candidate. Bandrés is a magistrate with a long judicial and academic career and is one of the founders of the progressive association Judges and Judges for Democracy.
In a statement, the councilors elected at the proposal of the PP affirm that the progressives “refuse to assess/negotiate different candidates so that the two that are named respond to the election of both groups and not merely an exchange of one name for another” . “They do not accept any other candidate than Bandrés and do not accept a methodology that involves a real debate on the suitability of all kinds of candidates,” they add.
Two months after the maximum term established by law expired, the members elected at the proposal of the PP have not even revealed their preferred candidate. However, they assure that there are up to six judges who, according to these sources, would welcome access to the Constitutional Court. They are judges Vicente Magro, Julián Sánchez Melgar, Pablo Llarena, César Tolosa, Diego Córdoba and Inés Huerta. The first two are especially politically significant. Magro was a senator for the PP and president of the majority Professional Association of the Magistracy (APM), which represents conservative judges. Sánchez Melgar, for his part, was State Attorney General in the last legislature of Mariano Rajoy.
On the other hand, this Wednesday the Supreme Court has deactivated the last excuse that the conservatives made for not making these appointments by keeping Rafael Mozo as president of the CGPJ. A week ago, the members elected at the proposal of the PP asked not to make any decision until the High Court reviewed the appeals presented against the election of Mozo as a substitute for Carlos Lesmes. The argument was that if Mozo’s election were suspended, the decisions that could have been made would be in question. This Wednesday, the Supreme Court has refused to provisionally suspend his appointment while it decides on the merits of the matter.