The CGPJ disintegrates due to the internal struggles that force the departure of Guilarte

The situation within the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) is becoming "suffocating", according to some of the members.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 April 2024 Monday 17:37
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The CGPJ disintegrates due to the internal struggles that force the departure of Guilarte

The situation within the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) is becoming "suffocating", according to some of the members. The interim period that has been in place for five years has been the seed of internal clashes that have forced the current acting president, Vicente Guilarte, to announce his departure before August.

This member came to the presidency a year ago because he was the oldest, after the retirement of Rafael Mozo and previously the resignation of Carlos Lesmes. "I'm quite alone", acknowledged Guilarte last week in an interview with Onda Cero. Sources from this institution explain that the last straw in this internal confrontation was the election of the new director of the Judicial School.

Guilarte was opposed to the person designated by the conservative group to lead the Judicial School after the resignation of the incumbent. The majority supported María Jesús Millán de las Heras, director of the continuous training service, based in Madrid. The president opposed it, as did the progressives, but they did not count that one of the members of the minority group supported the conservatives.

So the new interim director of the Judicial School -based in Barcelona-, an institutional and important position, will be a person who does not have the confidence of the president.

The progressives were betting on the magistrate and section head of the initial training service and who is at the same school, Clara Carulla.

According to sources in the body, the conservatives have not forgiven the fact that Guilarte - a member who comes from lawyers of recognized prestige but who is not a career judge - has been a kind of free verse. The president's position has been to try to bring about a renewal of the body as soon as possible with an agreement between the PP and the PSOE. He has also opposed the more radical position on amnesty and cast a particular vote on the report of the conservative group regarding this law, and voted in favor of the appointment of Álvaro García as Attorney General of the state. "I don't see that many are very inclined to look for solutions", warned Guilarte in that radio interview.

The president feels alone, he does not have the confidence of the members, especially of his own group, who expected a president closer to his shock position. "The situation within the Council is getting very complicated. People are not in favor of consensus, they only go to confrontation", acknowledges one of the members. The president feels disenfranchised and has therefore already announced his next departure. Next on the list would be Wenceslao Olea, member of the conservative group and magistrate of the Administrative Litigation Chamber of the Supreme Court. Even so, some members still trust that, after the European elections in June, the PP and the PSOE will reach an agreement to unblock the Council.

The main associations of judges, conservative and progressive, also called last week for the immediate renewal of the CGPJ, as the justice situation is at the limit. Even the majority Professional Association of the Magistrature (APM), which is betting on the reform of the law to change the system of electing members, has demanded that the renewal be done first and then the law be changed. This position goes against the thesis of the PP, which refuses to renew the body with the argument that it will not renew it until there is a reform of the law, so that the twelve members of the judicial career are elected by their peers and not by Parliament.

Sources from the body that regulates judges see that the degree of decomposition will not last any longer. The progressive group itself is weakening and consensus is becoming impossible. Some members are more pessimistic than others. "The Council is now moving for personal revenge. Nothing is negotiated. The president is not spoken about and systematically boycotted", admits one of them.