For the first time, on October 15, 2015, Carlos Lesmes, the President of the Supreme Court and the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), presided over a public ceremony to mark the beginning of the judicial year in military jurisdiction. He called for a collaboration among institutions for strengthening the rule of law and “peaceful coexistence.”
The official opening of the judicial year in military jurisdiction coincided with the publication in the Official Gazette of the new Military Penal Code, which together with the recent reforms of the Organic Law of the Judiciary, further integrate military jurisdiction into the ordinary judiciary of the State. Article 3.2 of the amended Organic Law identifies, for the first time, “military jurisdiction as part of the Judicial Branch of State.”
Article 344 bis of the new law gives the General Council of the Judiciary an important role in the appointment of judges to the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court. The CGPJ will now propose which judges from the Military Legal Body (Cuerpo Juridico Militar) should be appointed rather than the Ministry of Defense, as was the practice until now. In addition, the CGPJ will have a decisive role in the appointment of other posts relevant to military justice.