SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, July 15 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The president of the Supreme Court and of the General Council of the Judiciary, Carlos Lesmes, highlighted on Thursday afternoon the importance of Justice as a tool for the protection of rights.
“It is essential for social coexistence and for the economic progress of societies. Being important, let’s take care of it,” he stressed
during the conference ‘The government of the Judiciary and the Administration of Justice’ given in the Parliament of the Canary Islands with interventions by the president of the National High Court, José Ramón Navarro, and the president of the Chamber, Gustavo Matos,
The president of the TS and the CGPJ began with a “public acknowledgment of our judges and personnel who serve the Administration of Justice in La Palma.”
He indicated that he has been able to verify on the island that in a situation of difficulty for the citizens who have suffered the consequences of the eruption, the legal operators “have maintained this important service, which has not been interrupted.”
Already during the development of the conference, he pointed out that the independence of judges “has been conquered over the centuries and today it is fully established in all the democracies of the Western world”, of course also in the Spanish one.
Lesmes also pointed out that all of Spanish constitutionalism has recognized the principle of judicial independence, “but it is also necessary to establish guarantee mechanisms.”
Thus, he pointed out that democracy “is the government of the people through the laws, and the law is the element of government of the peoples, without being subject to pressure groups.”
In this regard, he stressed that without the independence of the Judiciary “there is no democracy.”
Here he spoke of the importance of the personal guarantee and its “double aspect”: the internal one of the judge himself (ethics), “which should have no more master than the law itself”, and that of the statute itself that governs the judge’s actions.
Regarding the Spanish model, he recalled that it opts for a mixed character (20 judges-magistrates and eight elected by Congress and Senate by qualified majority) and indicated that this first CGPJ was created “at great speed” in 1980 “for something that today continues to be that the Constitutional Court can function”.
This first Council, he said, had “few powers” in relation to the current one and found “certain conflicts” with political power.
“In 1982, in the processing of the Organic Law of the Judiciary, it was introduced as a substantial change that the election of the 20 members is 10 by Congress and 10 by the Senate,” he said.
Carlos Lesmes explained that over the years, the CGPJ has been incorporating skills “until reaching today’s important endowment.”
“In its 42-year history, it has fulfilled its constitutional function of being a guarantor of judicial independence. Our Council is perfectly legitimate and constitutional in our current model,” he commented.
The president of the TS and the CGPJ also addressed the situation of the Administration of Justice.
“The service provided has a very high rate of litigation; in response times we are from the European middle downwards. It is a service that can certainly be improved. It has some potential, such as an excellent group of judges with a very high resolution rate — and with the Canaries above the national average–, but they have to be endowed with better means and better organization”, he pointed out.
Lesmes affirmed that on a reality that is unique, the Administration of Justice, there are many competent administrations.
“A lot of time is spent trying to reach consensus and little time is spent trying to solve problems,” he said.
The president insisted, throughout his conference, on the “extraordinary importance of citizen trust in Justice.”
Lesmes expressed his gratitude to the president, Gustavo Matos, for the invitation to participate in the cycle of conferences framed in the commemorative acts of these 40 years of self-government and parliamentarism in the Canary Islands. “Celebrating the 40th anniversary of a parliament is always a cause for joy,” he added.
For his part, Gustavo Matos stated that just over two years ago, “no one could have imagined that the institutions of our country would be subjected to a stress test as important as the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and, in the case of the Canary Islands, with other added circumstances such as the eruption in La Palma”.
In this regard, the president maintained that a “positive assessment” should be made of how the institutions have responded and stressed that Spain “is a great country, with its institutions consolidated after 40 years of democracy, which have responded and whose maturity has remained in the face of the greatest challenge in its history”.
He stressed that the three powers “guaranteed that the institutions continue to function.”
To conclude, Gustavo Matos considered that this moment in which 40 years of parliamentarism and self-government in the Canary Islands are commemorated “should serve to review and try to turn this institution into a place of reference not only for what it represents and for its legislative activity and control, but also a meeting place for those who have to contribute to the conversation that must continue to be held between citizens and institutions”.
In the presentation of the act, José Ramón Navarro summed up the extensive professional career of Carlos Lesmes, stressing that “he has also been prolific when it comes to writing individual and collective works”.
Along these lines, he stressed that the president of the TS and the CGPJ “have always been aimed at defending Justice for the fundamental rights of the person, for resolving conflicts in public and private spheres and, ultimately, improving society.”