Colombia’s congress has once again begun the process of judicial reform, after an attempt in 2012 collapsed, local media reported Sunday.
The 2012 law that would have overhauled the judicial system in Colombia fell dead at the hand of President Juan Manuel Santos when he refused to sign the bill due to a number of unacceptable last-minute additional amendments.
Now a new project to reform the judicial system is in the works in a last ditch effort to make changes to the judicial system before the 2014 congressional and presidential elections.
Two meetings have already been assembled by the Corporation for Excellence in Justice and the Political Science Institute, during which the topics discussed included the governing of the Judicial Branch, disciplinary functions, and budgetary autonomy.
Judges of the State Council and the greater judiciary, ex-judges, congressmen, and scholars were present at these meetings.
The Supreme Judicial Council, the fourth highest court in Colombia responsible for laws pertaining to the four high courts of Colombia, came under intense criticism during these meetings and was almost eliminated entirely during the last reform talks.
All present agreed that currently there is “a strong need for constitutional reform of the justice system,” reported newspaper El Tiempo.
The text of this initiative will contain proposals concerning the election of judges, checks and balances within the state, conditions and periods for being judges and exercising the judiciary.
The law in 2012 was not signed by the President because of last minute additional amendments that would have given impunity to public officials for various offenses including having ties to illegal armed paramilitary groups.
The judicial system of Colombia is said to be one of the most complex systems in the world according to El Tiempo, yet Colombia’s congress has been unable to pass any substantial reforms after five attempts in less than a decade.
Gloria Borrero, director of the Corporation for Excellence in Justice, said that these new judicial proposals will be presented, “to the president elect, and to the new congress and courts” in 2014.
- Se ‘cocina’ una nueva reforma de la Justicia (El Tiempo)