A government proposal to create a “super-court” to serve as a check on Colombia’s highest courts and investigative bodies has caused concern among the country’s judges, according to local media.
The proposed court would be above all other bodies and have the power to pursue criminal, disciplinary, and fiscal action against the Prosecutor General, Inspector General, Comptroller, and the high courts, Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper reported Wednesday.
This super-court would consist of seven judges elected by congress who would serve for eight years and be unable to pursue appointments in other courts at the end of their terms.
The judges expressed dismay about the proposed tribunal, but did not list specific objections.
On Wednesday, President Santos tweeted a picture of a meeting he had with judges from the high courts, saying, “We want to continue working in harmony with all the branches of power.”
Other aspects of the government’s balance of powers reform proposals are also facing criticism from opposition parties.
They also included such populist measures as the public financing of political campaigns, subsidizing transportation for voters, and equal access to the media for different parties.
The Green Alliance had its own criticisms, particularly in regard to the elimination of the “opinion vote” by which the Senate is chosen by national, not regional, votes. States with less than 500,000 inhabitants would be able to elect their own senators.
The reform proponents say they support increased regional representation, but the Green Alliance argued that such a reform would damage smaller parties who have support spread over a large number of regions.
Despite these criticism, Caracol Radio reported that Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo, who is pushing for the reforms, believes that a number of them have the support of the majority of congress. He expects this to expedite the process of debate and ratification.
- Un ‘supertribunal’ y otros secretos en la reforma del Estado (El Tiempo)
- Oposicion, en busa de su propia reforma (El Espectador)
- Proyecto de equilibrio de poderes tiene apoyo de la mayorias: Cristo (Caracol Radio)