Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos announced Wednesday evening that he intends to present an appeal before the Constitutional Court challenging its decision to strike down a military justice reform bill last week.
“I have given instructions, making use of the mechanisms created by the Constitutional Court, for an appeal of annulment of the [military justice reform] decision to be presented to the court,” President Santos said on Wednesday.
This announcement comes after the Constitutional Court announced that their reason for striking down the government’s proposed military justice reform had nothing to do with the law itself, but rather it was because the formation of the bill was unconstitutional due to procedural errors.
“As a democrat, I have expressed our respect for and compliance with judicial decisions, but that does not mean that we renounce the possibility to dispute them,” proclaimed Santos.
The appeal that the president has ordered will ask the Constitutional Court to verify if the facts really indicated that there were procedural errors, or whether there were problems with the law itself.
“Respectfully, we will confirm that those things did not happen,” asserted Santos.
It appears that if the Court rules in favor of this appeal, then the President and the Executive Branch have every intention to push the same legislation back through Congress again. If not, then the government has already prepared ‘Plan B’s’ to reform much of the military justice system piece by piece.
Santos claims that this appeal has popular support, including from the presidents of the Colombian Senate and House. He finished by adding that the government will respect whatever decision the Court finally takes.
“[I have faith in the] seriousness, the rigor, and the elevated level with which the Court operates, and for this reason, we present the appeal before the courts reiterating that their decision–whatever the outcome might be–will be obeyed,” concluded the President.