Jump to content
Message added by Moderator_02

Readers interested in this topic might also wish to read http://www.chiriqui.life/topic/10459-the-justice-system-of-panama-is-flawed-andor-sick/.

Recommended Posts

  • Moderators

Court Nominees Cynical Setback

Ana Matilde Gomez
Post Views: 144
THE DESIGNATIONS of  the anti-corruption prosecutor Zuleyka Moore and the specialist in banking and finance, Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zara, as magistrates of the Supreme Court, constitute a “cynical setback in terms of democratic strengthening” and  an equally cynical setback in terms of institutionality ” said the National Assembly’s only    independent deputy Ana Matilde Gómez  on Tuesday December 26.

Speaking on TeleMetro of the appointment of Moore, the former Attorney General said that it was not recognition of her work ” [In the Odebrechr bribery scandal]  on the contrary, it is completely nullified”. According to the deputy,  “She [Moore] leaves the Public Ministry (MP) at the moment that more knowledge is needed from the Odebrecht case. “Taking her out of there  is to take out that knowledge and you will not be able to use it in the Court, ” Gomez  stressed that, should she  Moore be  endorsed as the new Justice of the Court she  “is not going to to be able to pronounce herself because  she will declare herself impeded.

Gómez said, this does not mean that the prosecutor is not an honest person and committed to work, as she knows from when she was her subordinate when She held the post of Attorney General. Gomez said that if President Juan Carlos Varela wants to fight corruption then why not increases wages to anti-corruption prosecutors and provide more protection.

Regarding of Tovar de Zarak, Gómez said that there are substantive circumstances and form that do not allow her to endorse the appointment in the Court.

When on Tuesday the  Assembly Credentials  Commission held its first meeting on these designations, it was well known That she is the wife of the vice minister of Economy, Ivan Zarak. He reported his resignation on Thursday, December 14, one day before the Extraordinary Cabinet Council approved the two designations for the Supreme Court; his resignation will be effective Friday, December 29.

“I would like to know if, in spite of everything that is happening in the  Assembly both are still willing,  to be magistrates of the Court, ” said Gomez.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Chaotic” debate over new judges

Dionicio Rodríguez
Post Views: 85
If Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak and Zuleyka Moore are ratified as Supreme Court judges, their lack of independence would govern the administration of justice .taken in the next 10 years says the president of the National Bar Association (CNA)

Dionicio Rodríguez and over 45 organizations and individuals were at the National Assembly on Wednesday, Dec,27, to express their views.

Rodriguez said that those who occupy positions in the Supreme Court of  (CSJ) must have independence, objectivity and impartiality and that although the newly named have favorable academic profiles for their current branches, they do not have the proper conditions to hold office in the Court.

He said that the ANC has called on the National Assembly to listen to the voice of the people. “The people have spoken and there are no demonstrations in favor of the appointments,” reports La Prensa.

According to the lawyer, “the Executive brings us chaotically to a debate of magistrates of the CSJ”, adding that it has not been broad, nor will it be broad due to the limitations of time  “Two days for people to be heard is not enough … two days to present objections in writing is not a term for a subject as important as the choice of judges,” he said. Participants before The National Assembly Commission of Credentials The participants had ten minutes to present their observations in front of the candidates.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderators

Varela judicial picks face tough ride

The nominees listen to denunciations
Post Views: 77
THE LIKELIHOOD   of  President Juan  Carlos Varela’s picks for  Supreme Court judges ever taking their seats is shrinking daily as the two nominees sit before the National Assembly  Commission of Credentials to hear speaker after speaker voice reasons why they should not be endorsed.

The supposed lack of independence and impartiality of the aspiring magistrates to the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), were the main reasons aired.

If the Assembly fails to endorse the appointments it will reveal a strategic political blunder by Varela, who had promised citizen participation in the choosing of magistrates, and when he made two earlier appointments, ignored the input of civil society.  Hours after they took their seats they rushed to support the widely criticized Ayu Prado in his bid for the renewed presidency of the Court. He has gone on to become the most traveled judge at the public expense . while the Court lags in handling major corruption cases.

The report on the appointments observations published by the commission showed that 61% of the 52 presentations (32) rejected the appointment of Moore; and 48% (25)  of the exponents disputed  Tovar de Zarak the wife of the former Vice Minister of Economy, Iván Zarak.

Nine of the comments received by the commission were in favor of the appointment of Tovar and only two in favor of Moore.

Tovar de Zarak was opposed because of political closeness to the Government, due to images circulated of her dressed in clothing of the Panameñista party. Her husband resigned shortly before the cabinet announced her nomination, seen by many as a sort of insider trading.

Moore was rejected as she was the prosecutor in charge of investigations into the Odebrecht corruption scandals who,  if ratified to the Criminal Chamber, would be barred in several proceedings for having investigated them.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderators

Lawmakers arrogance mocks justice crisis

Creeping justice
Post Views: 171
WEDNESDAY’S session of the Assembly Credentials Committee should have served for an enlightened exchange between the deputies and the magistrates appointed to the Supreme Court of Justice. Instead, some deputies gave a show  a childish arrogance. At times, the session seemed like a theater of horror, directed to humiliate the candidates and their substitutes. The insistence on trivial questions and veiled threats confirmed the perception that the best interests of the deputies were not to promote a sound administration of justice, but rather to corner the jurists. They spoke of both ethical faults and conflicts of interest and seemed to forget that they themselves are a true reflection of these problems.

After the circus show of yesterday, it is becoming more and more evident where they are able to arrive in order to exhibit a power that they themselves usurp with their questions of illegitimacy while they are questioned by their lack of probity in the exercise of their functions as deputies. It goes now to the full decision [in the Assembly] hopefully in a serious debate – while the Panamanian justice system is still immersed in the biggest crisis in our history… LA PRENSA- Jan. 15.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Varela Judicial Picks Face Tough Ride; Legislaltive Arrogance and Judicial Arrogance - Will Things Really Improve?
  • Moderators

New women judges said  good for Panama

Moore and Tovar listen to denunciations
Post Views: 89
THE RATIFICATION   by Panama’s National Assembly of two women nominees as Supreme  Court judges would be a great step for the Court “and for equality between men and women in our country.” said  Vice President Isabel de Saint Malo on her Twitter account.

Saint Malo also noted that “9 countries in Latin America have judicial bodies whose composition of women is 30% or more.”

On Wednesday,  January 24, after a series of bruising meetings when the nominees sat through denunciations of their suitability followed by harrowing, often unrelated, questioning by some deputies,  the Credentials Commission narrowly approved the ratification of the appointment of Judges Zuleyka Moore and Ana Lucrecia Tovar.

The lawyers received the support of the ruling party. Four of the five votes in favor were issued by the Panameñistas Luis Eduardo Quirós, Adolfo Valderrama, Jorge Iván Arrocha and Jorge Alberto Rosas. While the additional vote was José Muñoz, Cambio Democrático (CD) and founder of his own party (Alianza).

The approval of Moore and Tovar,) to replace Jerónimo Mejía in the Criminal Chamber and Oydén Ortega in the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court will be debated in a National Assembly plenary where they can expect more verbal sticks, stones and arrows.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator_02 changed the title to On the Filling of Judicial Vacancies

A huge setback for President Varela occurred yesterday as his two nominees for the Supreme Court were rejected, apparently not on the merits of their qualifications, but as a result of politics. The process reflected the worst of attitudes and behaviors in Panama’s National Assembly.


Hard to believe Newsroom Panama didn’t carry the story.

Edited by Keith Woolford
Link to comment
Share on other sites

National Assembly rejects appointment of Magistrates Moore and Tovar de Zarak

The National Assembly Plenary Session voted against the appointments of Zuleyka Moore and Ana Tovar de Zarak, as chief magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice. With 18 votes in favor and 52 against, both candidates were rejected while the ratification of the alternate judges was suspended. The session was held at the request of deputies of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and Cambio Democrático (CD).

"Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela promised to comply with the Pact for Peace and Justice and now he threw it away. He intends to choose two people who respond to the interests of the Executive," said Deputy for the PRD Pedro Miguel González, during the plenary session to justify his position against the appointments.

Deputy and President of the Panameñista party José Luis "Popi" Varela regarded the action as "blackmail". "We're not going to give him a magistrate. Reject it and two more will come. They are acting like this because there are two magistrates appointed by the PRD," said Varela.

The head of the CD deputies, Rony Araúz, said that "any project that comes from the Executive and serves as benefit for the people will have our support but in this case it will not."

Cambio Democratico

The Legislative Plenary Session will resume the discussion to define what will happen with the rest of the judges appointed by the Executive: Judith Cossú, Luis Camargo and Katia Di Bello.

Varela pronounces on the decision

President Juan Carlos Varela said he respects the decision of the National Assembly but believes that the capacity of the magistrates was not discussed. Varela said it was a "disrespectful" debate that highlighted "personal interests rather than the country’s interests". He announced that new appointments will be made.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Varela Takes Heat As Assembly Rejects Judges

Post Views: 193
THE REJECTION by the National Assembly of two  Supreme Court nominees was because of the failure of the administration led by President Juan Carlos Varela to honor The State Pact for Justice, say critics.

The pact was a commitment signed in 2005 by three organs the Ombudsman’s Office, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and organized civil society to reform the administration of justice.

After a fractious debate with a packed gallery contributing comments, catcalls and cheers, the Assembly rejected Varela’s  picks  Zuleyka Moore and Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak

Civil society organizations were quick to pronounce that Varela has put the country in a “completely unnecessary” situation, by not appointing judges by consensus, as promised.

Olga De Obaldía, executive director of the Foundation for Citizen Liberty, the Panama chapter  of Transparency International (TI), said that what happened in the Assembly “Is not a victory for anybody … all citizens have lost, Do not forget  for a minute that this has been politicking and that nobody, neither the Executive nor the Legislature, is really thinking about the problem of justice” said  the IT director.

She said that the Assembly cannot speak of justice when it does not abide by decisions such as that of the Court to provide information about donations and subsidies. “So, what justice do they speak of?”

On n the other hand, the Executive “has put the country in a completely unnecessary position, that would not have happened if it had honored the Pact as they promised in their campaign.

“We ask the Executive to comply with and honor the Pact before sending back two new appointments, “she said.

Juan Diego Vásquez, of the Youth Network for Transparency, said that the rejection of the nominees was a show debate that highlighted that the deputies are not thinking about the country, but politicking.

Governance  problem
Former Comptroller Alvin Weeden warned that after the rejection “there is a governance problem in the country. If we continue with anarchy and political interest, we are going to make the country ungovernable, and we will not be far from what happened in Venezuela and other countries in Latin America, “he said. What happened in the Assembly was blackmail. “I am sure that if President Varela had negotiated a magistrate with the PRD or CD, none of this would have happened. That is irresponsible political management,”

Varela said on Wednesday.Jan. 31  at a road opening ceremony that he will begin to interview new candidates for magistrates of  But he will do it “calmly”, after Carnival.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

No civil input into choosing judges – presidency

Varela: No time for public consultation
Post Views: 63
THE HOPES of civil society that there would be citizen input into the selection of new judges for the Supreme Court were dashed on Thursday, February  1 with an announcement that The Cabinet Council would choose the replacements of the magistrates Oydén Ortega and Jerónimo Mejía, without a citizen participation mechanism.

“The president [Juan Carlos Varela] already said yesterday that he was going to use his constitutional power, “said  Minister of the Presidency, Álvaro Alemán on Thursday, February 1.

A day earlier, at a public event in Darién, asked about a call for public consultation, Varela said that there was no time “for that”.

The Ortega and Mejía’s  10-year terms expired last December, but they have been obliged to remain in office until their replacements arrive.

Two earlier candidates appointed by the Cabinet – the anti-corruption prosecutor Zuleyka Moore and the specialist lawyer in banking law, Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak- were not ratified by the National Assembly.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

UN informed of Panama justice crisis

The Supreme Court
Post Views: 180
Panama’sAlliance For Justice has called on the United Nations to investigate the crisis in the country’s judicial system.

A letter outlining widespread citizen concerns has gone to the Office of the Special Rapporteur on the judicial independence of the United Nations.

Magaly Castillo, Director of  Alianza Ciudadana, said that they sent the letter to inform the rapporteur  about what happens in Panama like the lack of application of the judicial career system, the high percentage of interim judges, the way the system works when judges block prosecutions, and the delay in the appointment of new magistrates along with President Varela’s refusal to implement an accord to involve the citizenry in the naming of judges.

“It is a critical and chaotic situation that we are living in Panama in the area of justice that affects judicial independence, “said Castillo.

In the letter, the Alliance urged the Office of the Special Rapporteur to ask the Panamanian State what is going on or request a visit to the country to investigate what is happening.

Castillo said that this week they are also sending the same letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

“If there is no justice system that guarantees the independence of citizens, everyone is affected… if there are no guarantees of independence, there is also no respect for human rights, “she said.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderators

OPINION: In search of  honest leaders

Watch my lips
Post Views: 127
Two stories on the front page of La Prensa today (Feb, 22) are related to unfulfilled promises by the current president Juan Carlos Varela.

On the one hand, reluctance of his administration to incorporate the State Pact Commission for Justice in the selection of magistrates, breaching one of his campaign commitments.

While Transparency International makes an evaluation about the perception about corruption in our country, and other pending tasks of the Government stand out: the reform of the Law on Public Contracting, a conflict of interests law and another of protection for whistleblowers.  The fight against corruption was also a promise of Varela. Politicians must understand that when they present their plan of government and offer their campaign promises, they are making a moral contract with the citizens of the country they aspire to direct. The breaking of those promises produces cynicism, unrest and offends society.

The country needs honest men and women who honor and keep their word …La Prensa, Feb.22



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Varela pressed on judges’ selection process

ALVARO Aleman stonewalls
Post Views: 82
PRESIDENT Juan Carlos is being pressed to live up to campaign promises over the selection of Supreme  Court Judges, and facing increasing criticism over stalling tactics.

Organizations that make up the State Commission for Justice have fired off a letter asking him to implement the process for the selection of magistrates that was established in 2005.

The letter tells Varela, that the model proposed by the pact has over  11 years of experience and has been approved by the citizenship for its credibility.

The commission also attached the agreement signed in 2005, as and the profile for those designated to the Court.

In spite of this reports La Prensa, the Minister of the Presidency, Álvaro Alemán, reiterated that the president will use his s constitutional powers to nominate the replacements of Oydén Ortega and Jerónimo Mejía, and that the issue could possibly be addressed in the first week of March by the Cabinet Council

Campaign promise
During the 2014 political campaign, Varela promised that, in order to improve justice, he would take into account the recommendations agreed in the State Pact.

The note sent to the Presidency, tells Varela that there is “a clear commitment of the government” in the fight against impunity and corruption, actions that coincide with the position taken by sectors of public opinion.

This, adds the letter, requires further strengthening of the institutions that have to do with the investigation and prosecution of crimes that affect the State’s assets.

Alemán said that he had not read the note, but reiterated that the president will use the powers that the Constitution gives him to make the appointments of the magistrates but did not rule out that potential candidates could have meetings with the commission.

“I understand that candidates may be subject to interviews or meetings with the State Commission for Justice, but the president will exercise his constitutional power “,

He said that will be after Varela returns from a trip to Dubai for Earlier the president, who is not noted for fast action although said he would wait for the end of carnival (February 9 to 13) to address the issue.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Moderators

Commerce Chamber welcomes new plan to select  judges


But  with its endorsement, the Chamber adds some  sharply worded comments  on the performance of the  legislature,  those in high positions and expectations of the new judges  to avoid “shameful oblivion.”

The process, which had been proposed by the president himself his  electoral campaign, but had been sidestepped with his previous nominations,  invites the members of the Pact including civil society  to carry out a thorough analysis of the candidates, and civil society to be interested in the process to demand election and ratification of the most suitable people, with high moral standards.

“We suggest and hope that, in order to achieve this objective, the list of candidates to be analyzed by the members of the Pact will exceed the 10  recently announced candidates,” says a  Chamber statement issued on Sunday. April 8.

“Although  the process involves the State Pact for Justice, it is the President of the Republic who is called to exercise his  historic responsibility, which is historical; because it gives him the opportunity to correct course and take a transcendental step in the fight against corruption and impunity, since many of the errors of our justice have to do with the performance of those in high positions.

“ The differences that can occur in a necessary way between public powers correspond to the rules of the counterweights that command the democratic game in societies that are tolerant and respectful of participatory dissent.

“For this reason, it is also the responsibility of the Legislative Body to fulfill its function with strict adherence to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. In turn, those who arrive at the office will be faced with the opportunity to honor such privilege with a performance that will bring them respect and gratitude, or the shameful oblivion of their fellow citizens and the Nation.”



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

36 bid for Supreme Court posts

Post Views: 72
Bowing to public pressure the Presidency of Panama has published on its website, the names of the first 36 people who have sent their resumes, in answer to the call to select two magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

The process will until Friday the April 13.

The call was made following the expiration of the terms of Supreme Court judges Oydén Ortega (and Jerónimo Mejía, and an abortive attempt to approve two candidates nominated by President Varela who were rejected by the National Assembly.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

116 seek  the key to Supreme Court

Post Views: 88
The list of lawyers who think they have the credentials to take a seat in Panama’s Supreme Court, for the next 10 years had spiraled to 116  by Friday, April 13, the closing date for applications.

The resumes will be submitted to for verification of compliance with the constitutional requirements, among which must stand out: independence and impartiality, remarkable legal knowledge, an outstanding professional trajectory, and commitment to the protection of fundamental rights, democracy, and transparency.

Acommission involving  the Minister of the Presidency, Álvaro Alemán; Minister of Government, María Luisa Romero; the Deputy Minister of the Presidency, Salvador Sánchez; the vice minister of Social Development, Michelle Muschett; and lawyer Gian Castillero, will draw up a short list, of at least 10 candidates, who meet the requirements, which will be submitted to a process of consultations with the State Pact for Justice, observations on the respective candidates, and after the consultation, the list will be submitted by the Ministry of the Presidency for consideration by the Cabinet Council.

Civil Society has called for a short list of at least 20 to help undercut political cronyism. Candidates can expect a rough ride as the country has been teetering on the edge of a constitutional crisis with widening gaps between the Executive, the justice system, and the National Assembly, along with increasing concerns over corruption and immunity.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderators

President foot dragging on key nominees

President Juan Carlos Varela
Post Views: 97
Panama President Juan Carlos Varela not renowned for speedy decisions has delayed the appointment of at least 20 key authorities in different State entities while he has been country hopping.

In addition two new magistrates for the Supreme Court he must appoint a replacement for Alejandro Moncada Luna who was jailed for illegal enrichment.

Three new representatives are needed on the board of directors of the troubled Social Security Fund (CSS) and a manager for the State Savings Bank. Caja de Ahorros(CA), whose previous administrators are mired in corruption investigation as well as a list of appointees in several courts.

Lina Vega, president of the Panama chapter of Transparency International, said that the situation undermines institutionality and affects the quality of democracy.

“Institutionality is not an abstraction, it is about the fulfillment of processes, among which obviously, to designate people with the required academic and ethical requirements ”

Before the end of his administration in July next year, Varela will have the opportunity to appoint at least 30 authorities, most of them with fixed periods. More than half are currently vacant.

He will also have to name new directors to the board of the Panama Canal Authorities, with two current members facing criminal investigations



Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Moderator_02 said:

Panama President Juan Carlos Varela not renowned for speedy decisions has delayed the appointment of at least 20 key authorities in different State entities

Probably having a tough time finding enough qualified people with unblemished pasts to put in these positions.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Government submits final list of 20 Panamanian Supreme Court candidates

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 11:46


The Government of Panama today forwarded to the Commission of the State Pact for Justice the list of the 20 candidates selected for judges of the Supreme Court of Panama, out of a total of 154 lawyers who presented their resume, informed an official source.

The list of the 20 candidates, selected by a government commission, was sent by the Executive to the president of the Commission of the State Pact for Justice, Rigoberto González, reported the Secretary of State Communication on twitter.

The Executive expects that after evaluating the professional and personal career of the candidates, "in due time" the State Pact for Justice will send the observations and recommendations concerning the selected applicants.

The Government made a public announcement from April 9 to 13 to elect two new judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ).

This call was made in response to the expiration in December of the period of the Judges of the CSJ, Oydén Ortega (First Civil Chamber) and Jerónimo Mejía (Second Criminal Chamber).

The list sent to the State Pact for Justice is divided into 10 candidates for the Civil Chamber and 10 for the Criminal Chamber.

The candidates selected for the Civil Chamber are Ana Zita Rowe, Sebastián Rodríguez, Guillermo Márquez Amado, Luis Camargo, Olmedo Arrocha, María Eugenia López, Kathia Rojas, Juan Francisco Castillo, Rubén Elías Rodríguez and Farah Diva Urrutia

The candidates for the Criminal Chamber are María Luisa Vijil de Laniado, Rogelio Saltarín, Edith Guizado Bonilla, Luis Carrasco, Maruquel Castroverde, Judith Ester Cossú, Digna Atencio, Luis Fernando Tapia, José Israel Correa and Waleska Hormechea.

The criteria that guided the government commission in the selection were those of independence and impartiality, notable legal knowledge, outstanding professional trajectory, commitment to the protection of fundamental rights, democracy and transparency, the Executive said.

The opposition majority in the plenary session of the Panamanian Parliament rejected on January 30 the nomination of Ana Lucrecia Tovar and Zuleyka Moore as new magistrates of the Supreme Court that was presented by President Juan Carlos Varela, after having been approved in the first instance by the Legislative credentials Committee dominated at that time by the ruling party.

Political sectors, civil society and lawyers objected their nominations for alleged political sympathies with the ruling Panameñista Party (PPa), in the case of the former, and the latter for her performance as special anticorruption prosecutor in the case of the scandals of the bribes of Odebrecht.

The Government has explained that after the conclusion of the consultation of the State Pact for Justice, the Ministry of the Presidency will hand the list of selected candidates to the Cabinet Council (ministers), from which the new magistrates will be chosen.

The State Pact for Justice is the national commitment assumed in 2005 by the holders of the three State organs, the Public Prosecutor's Office, the Ombudsman's Office and civil society, in order to restructure and modernize the Panamanian judicial system so that it can be independent, transparent and efficient.

The Pact was convened by President Martin Torrijos (2004-2009), among other issues to establish a way to choose the judges of the CSJ to allow greater transparency in these selection processes



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Aspiring judges of the Supreme Court of Panama interviews have initiated

Mon, 05/07/2018 - 22:03

Diseño sin título (116).jpg

The process of interviewing the 20 aspiring magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama (CSJ) in charge of the Commission of the State Pact for Justice began this May 7, which includes representatives of the public powers and civil society.

Interviews will run until May 18 and a very flexible format will be applied, seeking that all the representatives of the Commission ask the questions they consider pertinent, the coordinator of the agency and the Attorney General of the Administration, Rogoberto González, told reporters this Monday.

The Government of Juan Carlos Varela submitted on April 30 the list with the 20 candidates for the State Pact for Justice Commission, and the first to be interviewed on this Monday was Sebastián Rodríguez, who aspires for a seat at the Civil Chamber of the CSJ.

Of the 20 candidates, 10 aspire to a position in the Civil Chamber and the other 10 to the Criminal Chamber of the CSJ, a power of the State whose full room is constituted by 9 magistrates.

After the interviews, the Commission will write a report that will be delivered to President Varela, on whom the responsibility of electing the magistrates rests by constitutional order, an appointment that must be ratified by the National Assembly (AN).

The non-ratification in December of two nominees by Varela to magistrates of the Supreme Court made clear the rupture of the so-called governability pact between the Government, with a minority in the Parliament (16 deputies), and the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), the majority opposition bench (26 seats), and opened the way to this process that involves the Pact.

The candidates selected for the Civil Chamber are: Ana Zita Rowe, Sebastián Rodríguez, Guillermo Márquez Amado, Luis Camargo, Olmedo Arrocha, María Eugenia López, Kathia Rojas, Juan Francisco Castillo, Rubén Elías Rodríguez and Farah Diva Urrutia

The candidates for the Criminal Chamber are: María Luisa Vijil de Laniado, Rogelio Saltarín, Edith Guizado Bonilla, Luis Carrasco, Maruquel Castroverde, Judith Ester Cossú, Digna Atencio, Luis Fernando Tapia, José Israel Correa and Waleska Hormechea.

The criteria that guided the government commission in the selection were those of independence and impartiality, notable legal knowledge, outstanding professional trajectory, commitment to the protection of fundamental rights, democracy and transparency, the Government said on April 30.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderators

Last week of hearings for Supreme Court hopefuls

Symbolic listening post
Post Views: 71
The State Pact for Justice resumed interviews with aspiring magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice in what is seen by many to be the equivalent of a show trial as the final determination rests with the President and the National Assembly.

Last week, the commission interviewed 10 of the 20 candidates to replace retiring judges Oydén Ortega and Jerónimo Mejía, in the Civil and Criminal   Courts of the CSJ.  In Panama  Supreme Court judges serve for only 10 years.

On Monday, two interviews were scheduled, The first or María Eugenia López, taking her second shot at becoming a magistrate.

On her arrival at the interview center, she said that she believes in institutionality, adding  that citizens have the right to know who the people who will be resolving their conflicts.

For López, with these interviews, citizens have the opportunity to question and send

his observations on the aspirants, especially if they do not have the qualities and virtues.

“The citizenship is obliged to participate, we must not stay in our comfort zone “.

The seats at the hearings have been largely empty with little apparent public interest, compared to jammed seats during consideration of two previous choices of President Juan Carlos Varela, who were finally rejected by the National Assembly.

Interviews with the group of 20 applicants end on May 18.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Moderators

Varela digs in on naming judges

Post Views: 100
President Juan Carlos Varela made it clear on Friday, June 29 that he will make the decision on the appointment of replacements for outgoing Supreme Court judges Jerónimo Mejía and Oydén Ortega, whose terms expired on December 31, 2017.

“At no time have I asked anybody for a short list”, said Varela, during an official act.

He said that it was up to the State Commission for Justice to evaluate the 20 candidates for the Court and to give their opinion and decide if they have the ability to exercise as magistrates.

“I have not asked anyone for a trio  … the one who sent a trio has the right, but I cannot say if it will be taken into account or not, because in the end, I have not asked for three …  and I am the president  “said Varela.

He insisted that nowhere has it been shown that the responsibility of the State Commission for Justice is to send a short list to the president. “That’s not in any law or regulation,” he said, adding that he would read the report delivered by the Commission to the deputy minister of the Presidency, Salvador Sánchez.

In the document, six lawyers are recommended to replace Mejía and Ortega. The nominees were  Juan Francisco Castillo, María Eugenia López and Luis Camargo for the First Civil Chamber, and Luis Mario Carrasco, María Luisa Vigil and Maruquel Castroverde for the Second Criminal Chamber.

Varela’s original choices were rejected by the National Assembly.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Moderators

JUSTICE CRISIS: Urgent need  to ratify  substitute judges

Katia Del Carmen, Judith Cossu de Herrera , and Luis Carmargo
Post Views: 82
THE CRISIS  in Panama’s judicial system is being deepened by the failure of the National Assembly to ratify or reject the appointment of three substitute judges named by the executive last year.

The trio in limbo are  Luis Camargo, Katia  Carmen Di Bello, and Judith Esther Cossú de Herrera

The issue is important because the number of magistrates unable to participate in decisions like the wiretapping case of Ricardo Martinelli, could increase and, the vacancies in the plenary session of the Court need to be filled.

Last  week, the attorneys for five wiretap  victims and one accuser asked the judges Hernán De León, Efrén Tello (substitute for Luis Fábrega),and Asunción Alonso (substitute for  José Ayú Prado) to recuse  after Attorney General  Kenia Porcell revealed that De León confessed that he had been wiretapped and that Tello and Alonso would agree to vote in favor of “knocking down” the Martinelli process.

Ayú Prado declared himself impeded in the Martinelli case in 2015 while, Jerónimo Mejía as judge of guarantees and Harry Díaz as a prosecutor, in the case cannot be part of the plenary session when it meets to deal with matters linked to the process.

Another concern is that the lack of substitutes is causing a judicial default. In  January, the National Assembly rejected the appointments of Zuleyka Moore and Ana Lucrecia Tovar to replace judges  Jerónimo Mejía and Oydén Ortega, Following that decision, the vote on the appointments of the substitutes has not been addressed again.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • Moderators

National Assembly will evaluate the names of Abel Zamorano and Olmedo Arrocha for the CSJ

Submitted by osulbaran on Fri, 11/23/2018 - 13:37

Abel Zamorano and Olmedo Arrocha are the names that enter the race to hold office as chief magistrates in the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), after the announcement of the Cabinet Council last Tuesday. Zamorano must be filtered by the Legislative Branch to opt as chief magistrate of the Third Chamber of Administrative Litigation, while Arrocha would assume as chief magistrate of the Civil Chamber.

After the announcement, it was known that the call to special sessions for the deputies of the National Assembly (AN) begins on November 26 and extends until December 31, 2018.

The points of the agenda include, according to the document cited by La Estrella de Panama, the ratification of the main and alternate judges of the CSJ, the approval of Bill 659 that establishes the General State Budget for the fiscal period 2019, the ratification of members of the Board of Directors of the Social Security Fund (CSS), the ratification of members of the Board of Directors of the National Bank and the approval of Bill 591 that adds Chapter XII, Crimes against the National Treasury, to Title VII of the Criminal Code.

As part of the agenda to be discussed, the approval of Bill 664 (addition and amendment of articles pursuant to Law 41 of July 20, 2004) in search of a change in the Special Regime for the Establishment and Operation of Economic and Special Area Panama Pacifico, in addition to the approval of Bill 692 seeking to approve the Tax Procedure Code of the Panamanian Republic.

The names of the candidates to the CSJ that were sent to the AN Credentials Commission are part of the list of 19 candidates that were evaluated since last October 24.

Before the appointment made by the Cabinet Council, the deputy and president of the AN Credentials Commission, Sergio "Chello" Gálvez expressed his rejection, "as a Panamanian deputy, I am going to vote against the appointment of Arrocha and Zamorano, and if Mejía is to be named, I will also vote against," he says it is a decision in support of Ricardo Martinelli, due to the "political persecution" to which he is subjected.

"There are bedroom agreements and, therefore, these names are designated ... I do not want to advance anything, but at least they already have one vote against and I see their appointment very difficult," said Galvez about these judges.

When asked about the candidacy of the former president as Mayor of Panama, Chello said that "It is no secret for anyone that Camacho, Alejandro Pérez, Alma Cortés and I, are trusted by Martinelli, that is why we are facing the responsibility to run as vice mayor to accompany my friend in the mayor's office of Panama when he is free, because Ricardo will be released from jail."

The organization Alianza Ciudadana Pro Justicia also expressed its position on the appointment of these new magistrates, with special emphasis on Olmedo Arrocha because they accuse him of having a direct link with Juan Carlos Varela, he would not offer guarantees or security of any kind.

Maribel Jaén, member of the Justice and Peace Commission, also indicated that "We insisted that a key point was independence ... it is totally a blow to a cause that leads to the weakness of institutionality", concerning the appointment of the new magistrates.

The National Bar Association (CNA), through its president, Dionisio Rodríguez, stated that at the time of establishing these positions, no preference should prevail. "I would not like to think that there are political borders for the handling of the appointment of the magistrate of the Criminal Chamber ... we need the third name and from there, we will make an objective assessment of what will be the CSJ," Rodríguez said.

However, attorney Ernesto Cedeño also expressed his position on the matter and in the specific case of Abel Zamorano, he said that "justice has been done to Judge Abel Zamorano, having been appointed as principal magistrate. He is institutional, industrious and knows procedural law."

These new candidates were proposed to the detriment of Zuleyka Moore and Ana Lucrecia Tovar de Zarak, candidates that the Cabinet Council proposed at the end of 2017. However, in a vote made by the deputies, they were rejected.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • Moderators

Jetsetting ex-deputy gets ok to try for judge

Posted 21/03/2019
Panama’s  Ministry of Government (Mingob) has certified that the controversial  ex-deputy Franz Wever who has fed at the public trough for decades and after losing his seat as a lawmaker was appointed secretary general of the National Assembly and continues up head sports bodies in spite of complaints of conflict of interest,

He has come under attack fore for his numerous trips around the world at taxpayer ex[ense,

(Mingo) certified that Franz Wever is qualified to exercise the position of magistrate of the Supreme Court.

According to Mingob,  Wever complies with all the requirements established by law 67 of 2008, which creates the jurisdiction of accounts and establishes the requirements to be a judge of the Court of Auditors.

The requirements are: Being Panamanian;  at least 35 years old; in full enjoyment of civil and political rights; be a graduate of Law; Having practiced the legal profession for at least 10 years.

Wever processed the  certification, in January  when he expressed his intention to seek a magistrate’s seat on from the Court of Auditors


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...