Monday, December 18, 2023

Spain's Central Military Tribunal on the verge of collapse

 The Central Military Tribunal, which is the highest military court in Spain, is on the verge of collapse because beginning in January 2024 it will have more vacancies than filled positions.  It has sent a report to the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ - Consejo General del Poder Judicial), warning of this imminent collapse, due to the fact that it is unable to make any appointments and it calls upon the CGPJ to take “urgent measures.”

The CGPJ is a constitutional body that governs the entire judiciary in Spain.  The President of the CGPJ is also the President of the Spanish Supreme Court and he presides over 20 members appointed by the King who serve for a period of 5 years.  Twelve members of the CGPJ must be judges/magistrates; 6 are elected by Congress and 6 by the Senate.  The remaining eight members of the CGPJ must be lawyers/jurists; 4 are elected by Congress and 4 by the Senate.  The votes by Congress and the Senate require three-fifths of each body for election to the CGPJ.

The current members of the CGPJ have been in office since November 29, 2013, having been elected by Congress and the Senate.  This membership expired in December 2018 and a third needed to be renewed, but the expired members -- three conservatives and one progressive -- refused to step down and the houses of the Spanish Parliament have been unable to achieve the respective three-fifths majority to replace them.

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