Judicial independence

The executive branch was almost an absolute power but the reforms implemented in the last two decades have given Congress and the Supreme Court a greater involvement in key decisions

Judicial independence
Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea - Photo: Juan Pablo Zamora/EL UNIVERSAL
English 03/01/2019 09:16 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:16
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At this time, when the majority in Congress and the federal government are working on a coordinated way, the Supreme Court can become an institutional barrier in the face of any decision that doesn't respect the law or human rights.

In Mexico, power is divided into three areas: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Although for a long time, the executive branch was almost an absolute power, the reforms implemented in the last two decades have given Congress and the Supreme Court a greater involvement in key decisions for the country. The exercising of power has been distributed effectively among the three branches.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court elected its new president for the next four years. In contrast with the process that took place four years ago, when 32 rounds were registered because of a persistent tie, this time the election was quick.

Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea will lead the tribunal in a time when a large part of society demands that the court acts as an effective counterweight, that its decisions are supported by the rights established in the Constitution, without any outside interference. Ministers, magistrates, and judges have the authority to approve or reject the acts of authority when they are the object of legal controversy. Therefore, their independence should be a necessary requirement for its daily tasks.

Zaldívar clearly expressed it: he will defend the judicial independence is to defend human rights, so there is rule of law.

Before the December holidays, the executive branch and the judiciary were embroiled in a discussion about the salary cuts in the judiciary. Now, without mentioning the issue, both parts announced their willingness to dialogue. The incoming court president called on to leave differences behind and “unite in the essential.” This and other difference have to be solved through mutual understanding, and not through unilateral actions.

In regards to judicial independence, as the president minister emphasized, the defense of the court's autonomy will be easily recognized through the verdicts it issues, with its votes, as well as through public and private behaviors of the members of the judiciary.

The insistence in maintaining an absolute independence is simple because, without it, it could never be claimed that there is true justice.

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