The ruling Movement to Socialism (MAS) has defined March as a critical period for the implementation of “justice reform”, for which it is preparing a number of proposals, including the way judges will be elected. Legal experts believe this is a distracting topic and this process will stall again and will therefore proceed with their proposal for a citizens’ referendum to reshape the system.
On the occasion of the opening of the judicial year 2022, President Luis Arce confirmed the development of a national summit on judicial reform.
For this process, the Ministry of Justice, which raised six aspects, proposes in its institutional memory parameters for the designation of the high judicial authorities, which in the opinion of many bearers of political power on duty, since they are made up of two-thirds of the MAS, which are later in general election should be chosen.
According to Justice, the main theme of judicial reform is that of “independence” because you can apply all the other elements, but without independent judges you will not achieve a real and structural transformation of the judiciary.
In this context, he pointed out that a national consensus should be reached for the next magistrate election in 18 months, in order to enable an optimal election of the high judicial authorities.
The State Portfolio reports that the Justice Summit will point the way to the best method for the election of judges.
Two models are proposed by the ruling party, one by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly for the pre-selection of candidates; This system did not produce a good result because it is not possible to have enough filters in the legislature to have the best judges.
The other model occurs in comparative law: it consists in delegating the preselection of science and society to specialized bodies and commissions with a high degree of credibility. That is also the task of the assembly and of political agreement.
“The other fundamental question is the one related to the elections: whether we will have an electoral model or a ratification model. The first presents us with a ballot with more than 52 names in which every Bolivian has to choose four authorities. The second is to ask the public if they approve of the work of the candidate qualification team, ”he said.
Former mayor and lawyer Juan del Granado, a member of a group of lawyers who want to carry out judicial reform through a citizens’ survey by means of a referendum, pointed out that this proposal saw “another speech” and that they only intended it.
“All aspects related to this judicial reform, which I have called epidermal, which is only superficial and has focused all possibilities on a justice summit for the month of March 2022. The President has tried to get an x-ray of the justice and has not touched on the causes; He pointed out the main evils and detailed the delay, procedural burden and corruption, but did not point out the judges’ lack of independence, ”he said.
Mateo Laura, a member of the group of legal advocates advocating judicial reform, indicated that it is being worked on but expressed concerns that the government may obstruct citizen consultation for judicial reform as it is convenient to maintain the system, since it is subordinate to propel.
Summit of justice with no results
Lawyer Juan del Granado pointed out that this is the third summit of masismo in these 15 years to transform the judiciary.
The “First Judicial Summit of the Plurinational State” took place on December 10th and 11th, 2012 as part of the convening of the judicial authorities in La Paz. On June 11 and 12, 2016, the “Second National Summit of Plural Justice” took place in Sucre, this time at the invitation of the executive branch. “The MAS governments never had a judicial reform strategy that echoed the immediacy and demagoguery of their neoliberal predecessors,” says Del Granado.
Legal group wants to consolidate their project
The announcement of a government judicial summit to reform the judicial system will not stop the intent of the group of 10 independent lawyers proposing structural changes through a referendum, so socialization is expected to continue this first semester and the second Case to the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) to collect the books and initiate the collection of signatures.
“To associate with all social sectors to have a better proposal and we have to collect the books of the TSE and we have to get at least 1.5 million signatures across the national great national crusade for justice,” said lawyer Juan del Granado.
He argued that it had to be done because nothing could be expected from the government, from the state.
“Minister Lima (Iván) made three proposals in a single year, they have carried out a series of actions in these 15 years to the MAS government with no results, so we do not expect anything from the government.”
Among the proposals of the group of independent jurists it is foreseen that the preselection of judges no longer goes through the legislative assembly and is carried out by a commission of six dignitaries.
It also raises the transformation of the council of the magistrate due to its poor performance.