Colombia’s State Council on Wednesday rejected the government’s latest draft of the justice reform package and called the document “contrary to the objectives of the rule of law.”
In a statement, the country’s highest administrative court claimed aspects of the revised proposal “clearly violate the autonomy of the judiciary and undermine justice.”
The justice reform package has been mired by controversy over the use of military jurisdiction in cases of human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch has also criticized the proposed legislation for giving impunity to people suspected of human rights crimes.
“…A constitutional amendment that is approved under the terms of this paper would be contrary to the objectives of the rule of law,” the statement read.
The court criticized seven specific aspects of the latest judicial reform draft, including increased political oversight of the executive director of judicial administration, budget concerns, and the weakening of criminal and disciplinary controls over congressmen.
The Council was responding to a government report drafted after a May 3 meeting between the Prosecutor General’s Office, the presidents of the Supreme Court and State Council and President Juan Manuel Santos.
In Wednesday’s statement, the council alleged the meeting resulted in a 10-point document that would strengthen judicial autonomy and ease a backlogged justice system.
The changes proposed in the government’s latest document “contradicted the declared premises to strengthen and empower branch,” the court said.