Wednesday, December 7

the court party

As the good anti-system party that it is, what the PP wants is to destroy it, as long as it cannot dominate it. Like the boy with the ball. Or, paraphrasing Montoro, let the system fall, and we’ll pick it up.

This is what is happening with the renewal of the CGPJ. With 46 months expired, almost 70 judicial positions to be appointed (17 of the TS) and rising, the PP, immutable, says that the governing body of the judges cannot be renewed because the law in its appointment system must be changed. That it seems to turn, demanding it now immediately after unlocking, does not contradict reality. We will see. At the height of cynicism, it is necessary to change the law that the PP imposed, with its absolute roller, in order to delve into the sphere of irresponsibility of the members of the Council. In short, the system for electing the members of the Council is the one dictated by the PP and now, because he cannot pull all his strings as he pleases, he wants to change -from the opposition, which reminds others- the mechanism that he created .

With such a mechanism and a strong tradition of political-judicial sagas, where entire families have been occupying secularly -this is not an exaggeration- the elites of the judiciary, the PP, in a new contradiction, turns out to be simultaneously the anti-system party and the figurehead of the court party.

Because the PP uses the triumphal arch so that the Constitution passes through it from the first to the last letter, in all areas. Why can you do it now? Because he has done it before. That is, because of impunity: their actions or omissions have zero political, legal and, to a large extent, media cost. Politically, well seasoned in the media, it seems that, according to the polls that are doing relatively well for him, it would be said that the citizens who support him either do not know about it or already think this filibustering of the worst kind is perfect.

Legally, Rajoy’s PP carried out a successful undertaking, unparalleled in the Western world, in which all the control mechanisms, from Parliament to the various public economic verification agencies, including the TC, the Court of Auditors or the CGPJ, were in their hands with solid majorities. For this reason, not a single one of his decisions, no matter how strange, was revoked or called into question. Such was his influence in the appointments of the members of all the control organisms. As in a dictatorship: not a single dissidence: from the actual reform of the Organic Law of the Judiciary to the gag law or the labor dynamitation. Hence the unusualness of Spanish politics: the PP had and exercised absolute power over the state and its institutions.

For this he used both his militants and related or grateful stomachs. A clear example, but neither the only one nor the most striking -the most striking was that of the president of the TC, Pérez de los Cobos, a hidden militant of the PP, advisor to the labor reform and final judge of its constitutionality- is that of Carlos Lesmes , just as in his piece last Tuesday, Ignacio Escolar reminded us. In short, of his almost 40 years as a judge, 28 have been spent in appointment positions for the PP. What could go wrong for the PP with executive officials of this profile? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The alliance between the PP and the judicial party, that is, the part of the leadership of the judges that yearns for the past the most, is a society of mutual favors, which is now debated in continuing to promote, to ensure more impunity in the future, to the judicial party or, without it serving as a present, to return to the constitutional path, not in the manner of Fernando VII, but with a minimum of decency. It remains to be seen if it will continue to shoot the bush or work, in this case, to alleviate the essential public service of Justice, so that it is minimally in line with what society demands in a social and democratic State of Law, which is what the Constitution mandates, not the mere state of laws of the opposition agendas.

The dilemma, then, is served: either a minimally satisfactory compliance with the Constitution in terms of guaranteeing the functioning of constitutional institutions, fostering the diverse balance and counterweights between them, or continue in the hands of the judicial party.

This party, made up of an unelected elite of judges, prosecutors and magistrates who believe that the State is above the State, is alien to the Constitution, unless it is favorable to them. Apart from her, because they have always lived outside the law, it does not take away her conscience or her sleep. It is normally made up of sagas of high-ranking officials, from the Justice or the Administration, who frequent the revolving doors, rather communicating, between one and the other. And, furthermore, it is strung up like a string, by a link outside the control of the general public: the oppositions, which pivot on the opposition preparers, and high officials.

Certainly, to enter the great bodies of public servants, the national opposition festival must be practiced. In the end, despite some changes in the formats, the decisive test is an extensive agenda, for what is of interest here, of all branches of Law, with little mention of constitutional and European law. These oppositions are prepared for an average of four years. The crux of the matter: the preparation is not done alone. The opponent has a coach, to whom he sings, that’s the slang, the topics whose memorization is extended until he acquires full command of the agenda or, trying his luck, a significant part. The emotional bond between opponent and coach lasts a lifetime and beyond, on too many occasions, the relationship between master and disciple, especially when, depending on which coaches, they move up the ladder. These links, once the opponent is already a judge or prosecutor, serve as an antenna that feeds corporatism, the indelible nerve of the judicial party. Perhaps this explains, in part, why the protests from the judiciary have not gone beyond the protests contained in communications from the respective professional associations of judges and prosecutors.

Consequently, the behavior of the PP is consistent: he fears losing his shield, if it is revealed. It will be said that the PP has received convictions. Half truth. There are many lawsuits pending and the leadership pepera, the one that has been governing the last 20 years, except for a slap on the wrist to some clueless, has not been seriously affected. From the CGPJ, duly instructed, there has been an unspeakable attempt to manipulate the provision of property or temporary jobs from where anti-corruption processes should be prepared or prosecuted. This, as if that were not enough, without counting on the domain pepper of the machinery of the Tax Agency or of the various judicial police forces. These games have been provided by the court and, like all services, must be paid for.

All this dysfunctional framework has three serious consequences. The first, before public opinion, which does not distinguish between the body for the administration of justice -the Council- and the judiciary -each and every one of the judges-, Justice is discredited. As if that were not enough, secondly, the public and legal professionals see how the public service aimed at resolving interpersonal conflicts and conflicts with public authorities deteriorates. And, thirdly, it disavows the vast majority of independent judges, who with all their flaws and virtues and with all their origins and ambitions, try to do their job well. As the judicial party is, what is being done is throwing overboard the elementary guarantees of the constitutional state.