Argentina: Courts now under Cristina’s authority
The judicial system is compromised: borrowing a page from Chavismo, Argentine Legislature Extends President’s Control Over the Judicial System
Argentina’s Congress passed legislation giving the president and political parties greater control over the judicial system, just days after hundreds of thousands of Argentines took to the streets to protest the measures.
President Cristina Kirchner’s populist, left-wing ruling coalition approved the changes that limit injunctions against government policies and create three new appellate courts.
Within a week or two, Congress is also set to change the Magistrates Council that appoints and impeaches judges, subjecting its members to popular elections. That likely will give Mrs. Kirchner’s party control over the council, which will be able to impeach judges by a simple majority, instead of the two-thirds vote required now.
Mrs. Kirchner says the new laws will make the legal system less beholden to special-interest groups. The sweeping changes come less than a month after Mrs. Kirchner submitted the legislation to Congress.
No more separation of powers,
Legal experts say the revisions will make it hard for individuals and companies to challenge laws and presidential decrees, especially those expropriating private property. Rights groups Human Rights Watch and Transparency International have warned the legislation would give the executive branch unprecedented control over the courts.
This gives free hand to the government to act or seize assets before a case is solved.
For commentary in Spanish, please read Monólogo de una República Perdida, by Agustín Ulivarri Rodi.