No agreement and no new date for negotiations on the renewal of the Constitutional Court

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Madrid, 21 September (EFE) — A meeting between the members of the CGPJ, who are negotiating the appointment of two constitutional magistrates, has again ended without agreement and without a date for the third session, when the plenary session is held on 29 September. coincides with a visit to Spain by Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.

The meeting ended, as expected, without an agreement, as while the Progressives put the names of nine candidates on the table, the Conservative sector insists it still cannot find Supreme Court justices willing to run, Conservative bloc sources say.

And all of this is happening without it being “possible” to set a new date for the resumption of talks, if that’s the case, another issue that has further aggravated the talks because there is a time difference.

Progressives are not responsible for delays in negotiations.

On behalf of the progressive ranks, they expressed the desire “to reach the indicated agreement in the shortest possible time” and “always before the plenum convened on September 29.”

“We have officially recorded that we are not responsible for the delay occurring with the appointment of justices of the peace of the Constitutional Court,” progressive interlocutors at the negotiating table noted.

All this because the conservatives are going to meet, but among themselves, the day before the plenum, although the progressives are not waiting for steps, because they claim that the other side has conveyed to them that they do not believe that the appointment should take place at the plenary session.

Reynders is about to fall and there will be no agreement to extend the TC

This plenary meeting will take place just at the moment when the head of justice of the EC arrives in Spain, who on that day will meet with the minister of the presidency, Felix Bolaños, the head of justice, Pilar Llop, as well as with the People’s Party. As early as Friday the 30th, he will meet with CGPJ President Carlos Lesmes.

Reynders’ trip is not indicative, but quite the opposite, as on Tuesday he confirmed that he would oppose the blockade of the Council with the intention of “entering into dialogue, not only asking for discussions, but also for contacts”, that is, as an intermediary between parties to resume negotiations on an extension.

Archival image of European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders. EFE/EPA/JULIEN VARNAND

The Commissioner’s visit comes days after VP of Values ​​and Transparency Vera Yurova sent a letter to Lesmes in support of her Judgment Year opening ceremony speech, clarifying the “urgency and absolute priority” of board renewal and then consider CGPJ reform.

There are not only discrepancies and problems with terms, but also with names, as has been happening since the very beginning of the negotiations.

Conservatives insist: we have no candidates for the Constitutional

Conservative bloc sources state that “they have not received any formal or informal nomination within the group other than a simple brief, informal and initial one-person contact with a member on a case-by-case basis.”

However, among the many magistrates interviewed by the President of the General Council of the Judiciary, Carlos Lesmes, there are several considered conservative who, Efe learned, authorized the president to use his name in seeking a consensus nominee.

Among them are Diego Cordova, Antonio Sempere and Rafael Fernandez Valverde, who a few months ago resigned from the Supreme Court and left the same Council of which he was a member at the suggestion of the PP. Moreover, he himself, according to sources consulted, announced his readiness to all members, although so far he appears only in the list released by the Progressives.

Archival image of the exterior of the headquarters of the General Council of the Judiciary in Madrid. EFE / Rodrigo Jimenez

Similarly, legal sources explain to Efe that it is traditionally members who approach Supreme Court magistrates with a request for the opportunity to run for constitutional office, and not the other way around, as conservatives report.

For now, only the list provided by the Progressives is on the table, which includes five judges considered progressive: Jacobo Barja de Quiroga, Ángeles Huet, Pablo Lucas, Eduardo Espin and José Manuel Bandres, who is aiming to be the first Progressive candidate, sources say. Efe close to negotiations.

But, in addition, Isabelle Perello, Maria Luisa Segoviano, Rosa Maria Viroles and Rafael Fernandez Valverde are added to them. “They have names, but they don’t want to,” they claim to Efe from the Progressives.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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