Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos appointed a new justice minister Friday, following the resignation of Juan Carlos Esguerra amid the fallout of the controversial justice reform bill, newspaper El Espectador reported.
At a ceremony celebrating the 20th anniversary of Prosecutor General’s Office, Santos announced the appointment of Ruth Stella Correa, saying that she had “dedicated her life to the [judicial] branch.”
Correa, who specializes in labor and human rights law, has more than three decades in the judicial branch, including serving as both a lawyer and judge. In 1981 she was chosen as the best judge in the western department Risaralda. She also holds various positions as a legal professor and has been key in crafting previous judicial legislation.
Esguerra resigned June 22 immediately after Santos refused to ratify a new justice reform bill that had been passed and was later killed in Congress. Critics of the bill questioned the legality of late changes made to the final draft and said it would give impunity to public officials while the president said it would create “institutional and judicial chaos.”
The Inspector General’s Office announced Friday that it would investigate Congress for its handling of the bill and that Esguerra would likely be a focal point of that investigation.