Thursday, May 13, 2010



The Judicial Power Organization Act 6 / 1985 (Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial) in its Title II, Chapter I, Article 383 (The tenure of judges and magistrates) said that "the suspension of judges and magistrates only take place", among other cases, "where it has been declared to have grounds to proceed against them for crimes committed in the course of their work. "
The same text, by which is governed the Spanish judiciary, later determined, under Title IV, Chapter III, Article 504 (Licenses and permits): "judges and magistrates can access training licenses and permits and to join of international tribunals and other agencies, by agreement of the Consejo General del Poder Judicial. "
The dilemma of the Consejo General del Poder Judicial which will meet in special session tomorrow under the chairmanship of Judge Carlos Divar is that will have to decide between the two articles mentioned above. Grant a special permision to judge Baltasar Garzon Real can incorporated as special assistant prosecutor of Luis Romero Ocampo at the International Criminal Court and escape from justice or to suspend him from their duties, as is required, to face up his responsibilities in the open trial against him in the Second Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court.
Faced with a highly controversial issue, perhaps the most politicized of all he had to discern the body of the Government of the judges in his history, due to the "services" provided by the magistrate to the Government negotiations with ETA, the conflict that arises is serious. But the output that the 20 members of the judges body, whose main function is to ensure the guarantee of the independence of judges and magistrates over other branches of government, will determine the democratic health of the Spanish judiciary and its degree of mediation and submission to the executive headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. In Spain, the separation of powers established by the baron of Montesquieu in the mid-eighteenth century do not exist in practice. The Consejo General del Poder Judicial is appointed by political parties
It is clear that the decision to take for many of the members elected to the PSOE's proposal is not easy. Judicial sources believe, however, that the Council has no other way out but to act worthy as courts of Justice when it need to decide whether to support various causes admissible over the same subject. Criminal matters always have had priority over other (whether civil, administrative, labor or commercial) because the seriousness of the facts need to be clarified first
Otherwise, give the judge Garzón a passport to flee to the International Criminal Court where he makes fun from the action of the Spanish courts, where has three pending cases in which they are involved, would be a mockery and derision to the Administration of Justice.
And, moreover, may be, by extension (since the legislature when it drew the Ley Orgánica del Poder Judicial was not thinking even remotely that the Supreme Judicial Council could commit any irregularity ) a crime of obstruction of justice punishable under Article 463.1 of the Penal Code.
Tomorrow, before sitting down to discuss, the members of the Supreme Judicial Council, among them is the lawyer José Manuel Gómez Benítez, a friend of Garzon and "negotiator" with ETA, should take a look to the Code. The text says:

(The obstruction of justice) "(The people) who in a illegal manner, ceases to appear voluntarily without just cause, before a court or tribunal in criminal proceedings, causing suspension of the trial, shall be punished with imprisonment from three to six months or a fine of six to 24 months (...) If this was a lawyer, solicitor or representative of the Public Prosecutor in performance, the penalty would be imposed at the upper end "

If lawyers, attorneys and prosecutors may be guilty of obstruction of justice to a greater extent would to apply to the members of the governing body of judges if they do not fulfill their duty. Therefore, this article of the Penal Code could be used by extension to the matter under discussion at least journalistically. An abdication of his duties by the CGPJ could be interpreted as a crime of Obstruction of Justice, specifically against the work of Second Chamber of the Supreme Court, with which the are obliged to assist.

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