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Friday, August 01 2014 @ 06:28 PM EDT

Martinelli Will Designate Two New Supereme Court Judges Soon

Law & Lawyers By Juan Manuel Díaz C. for the Panama America - Two judges are going. The appointment of two new justices to the Supreme Court of Justice of Panama, which will replace Esmeralda de Troitiño and Adán Arnulfo Arjona, whose terms expire in December of this year, should be done in a transparent manner and in consultation with the civil society. The Due Process Legal Foundation (DPLF) with headquarters in Washington DC thinks it is necessary to create greater participation in order to prevent political interference in these matters. Alejandro Miguel Garro, a representative of the DPLF, said that in Latin America the tendency is to let society know in advance who the candidates are for these positions in order to allow people time to comment on their past performance. Meanwhile, Magaly Castillo, of the Citizens Alliance for Justice, said that these designations will be made in less than two months, and it is still unknown who are the candidates for these positions. For Castillo, the new government has the possibilities of making a change. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: In Panama, Supreme Court magistrates serve ten year terms. These are the first two appointments Martinelli will get, and then he will get two more in the middle of his term, meaning he will have appointed four of the nine sitting justices at least. The tendency has been to appoint political lackeys whose first and most important function on the Supreme Court is to protect the person who put them there (later, after they leave office) and then to support and defend the political agenda of their party and political masters. In the past few years the performance of the Supreme Court has been improving with Harley Mitchell at the helm. It takes a long time to slowly turn the Panamanian justice system, which responds to inputs from the helm like the Titanic in an ice flow (slowly). Don't expect any tremendous changes overnight, and the best one can hope for is slow and gradual improvements over time. Hopefully the current trends will continue.

Expectativa por nuevos magistrados

Juan Manuel Díaz C. PA-DIGITAL

Dos magistrados se van.

La designación de dos nuevos magistrados de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, que remplazarán a Esmeralda de Troitiño y Adán Arnulfo Arjona, cuyos períodos vencen en diciembre de este año, debe ser transparente y consultada con la sociedad civil.

La Fundación para el Debido Proceso Legal (DPLF), con sede Washington, estimó que se hace necesario crear una mayor participación para impedir la ingerencia política en estos temas.

Alejandro Miguel Garró, representante de DPLF, aseguró que en toda América Latina la tendencia es permitir que la sociedad conozca con antelación a los candidatos a ocupar estos cargos y pueda hacer señalamientos sobre su desempeño.

En tanto, Magaly Castillo, de Alianza Ciudadana pro Justicia, aseguró que a menos de dos meses que se hagan la designaciones, aún se desconoce quiénes son los candidatos a ocupar estos cargos.

Para Castillo, el nuevo Gobierno tiene la posibilidad de producir un cambio.

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