Thursday, June 10, 2021

Friction between the General Council of the Judiciary and the Spanish Supreme Court

The Spanish Supreme Court annulled the appointment of a female judge in a military court in Valladolid.  The justices complained that the General Council of the Judiciary (photo) did not take into consideration a report from her superior that affirmed that she was not qualified for the post.  The Supreme Court annulled her appointment despite the fact that she had been approved two years ago by the General Council.   

This is the third time the Supreme Court has annulled a judicial appointment for a military court.  The judges of the contentious-administrative chamber of the Supreme Court studied the case of Captain Maria Paz Rodriguez, who was appointed judge by the plenary of the General Council in March 2019.  The vote was very close between Rodriguez and another candidate for the position that had been vacant for two years.  The Supreme Court annulled the appointment after having detected a deficiency in the proceedings.  Neither the plenary nor the permanent commission of the General Council had analyzed thoroughly the reports regarding her qualifications, and both the Central Military Court and her then superior had affirmed that she had neither the background nor the aptitude for the position.  The Supreme Court reproached the General Council for not investigating the reasons for these negative reports.

The upshot is that the General Council must begin the nomination process all over again since the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court must be executed, it is not a question of simply changing the appointment.  The Court gave the General Council two months to put in place the proceedings and to make a new nomination, just as it had been required to do in April when it annulled the appointments of two other judges for the 5th Chamber, which concerns military jurisdiction, of the Supreme Court.  In the earlier annulments, the Supreme Court criticized the General Council's failure to request certain reports.  After the proceedings were carried out following the Supreme Court's judgment, the same two judges were reappointed by the General Council.

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