The Constitutional Court rejected this Tuesday that Spanish regional magistrate Concepcion Español refused to participate in sentencing deliberations on the abortion law. Espegel wanted to stay out of the case because he, as a member of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), expressed criteria contrary to the said law in a report that was never sent to the government. The court infers that in these circumstances, apart from other reasons, the absence of the Magistrate was not justified because of the lapse of time since the Magistrate expressed the said opinion twelve years ago.
Espajel was challenged together with the president of the court, Cândido Conde-Pampido, and the magistrates Juan Carlos Campo and Inmaculada Montalban. Constitutional sources have accepted the rejection of the initiative that has been formalized by five former representatives of the PP to remove the last three from the motion of appeal against the abortion law. Due to paucity of time these three challenges could not be resolved today and will be discussed tomorrow.
Against Espegel’s refusal to participate in the vote, the other three magistrates from the Constitutional Court’s conservative sector have appeared themselves, announcing individual votes to highlight their inconsistencies with the decision. On the other hand, in the progressive sector of the court, the criterion that Espegel has no sufficient reason to stay out of the case has been making its way in recent days. Those who are in favor of dismissing the said Magistrate in absentia believe that although it is true that his opinion on the law was critical, the debate that arose on that day in the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) on the said legislative initiative , She could not move forward. a final report.
In the above area, it is also argued that the Constitutional Court should not dilute its doctrine against challenges, especially if they are directed against a group of magistrates, as is the case in this case, which initially consisted of four judges. was challenged. The court did not intend to accept the initiative of the former PP deputies any time soon, who have prepared the challenges, noting that this would mean that the guaranteeing body could not issue a ruling on the abortion law, which had to be passed without a quorum. It has been abandoned.
The law provides that agreements may be adopted in a constitutional plenary session when at least two thirds of the members who make it up at any time are present. Currently, eleven magistrates are part of the plenary session, as the position of Alfredo Montoya, who resigned due to illness, is still vacant. Therefore, the participation of a minimum of eight magistrates is necessary to take a decision. If the four challenges presented were successful, the court would be left with only seven magistrates, preventing it from resolving appeals against the abortion law.
in previous resolutions – for example, when defending the leaders of Process He challenges all members of the court—the guaranteeing body has already warned that challenges that make it impossible to make a decision are not acceptable. The Constitutional Court then argued that it has a prime duty to maintain its ability to exercise its powers.
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