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Friday, July 25 2014 @ 07:18 AM EDT

Response To Full Page Ads Paid For By Supreme Court

Law & LawyersMagaly Castillo, executive director of Citizens Alliance for Justice, saw with surprise the statement issued by the Supreme Court that appeared in every newspaper in Panama on Wednesday, saying the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court is a necessity and saying it needs to be formalized urgently through the appointment of the three new judges. In response she said "that seeks to control, because improving the justice is not the goal, there are many needs in the justice sector." According to Castillo, there are serious problems in the administration of justice that are affecting the human rights of many Panamanians. Meanwhile, Ruben Elias Rodriguez, former president of the Bar Association, said "(the judges) cannot decide cases, because there are laws that give the judges a time limit to decide, because they don't have the tools to do it." While the lawyer Silvio Guerra, it recently took the court months to decide a case of habeas corpus recently, and that the problem itself is not in the Fifth Chamber. "I legitimate a Fifth Chamber, meanwhile there is no constitutional change to the court, but the problem lies in my opinion in who will be appointed by the president," said Guerra. Several say a Constitutional Court would be better, a sort of constitutional tribunal, to deal with constitutional issues, decide questions of habeas data, and to review the decisions of the court, while the Fifth Chamber is a partial replacement of the constitutional court, and ultimately increases the number of judges. (TVN)

Editor's Comment: Yesterday and today the Supreme Court paid to run full page ads in all of the major newspapers, expressing why they think President Martinelli should immediately appoint the three new judges who would sit on the Fifth Chamber. The ads were signed by the President and Vice President of the Supreme Court. Martinelli has not yet appointed the three new judges, although he could at any time. The longer he waits while he's in office, the longer he will be "covered" once he leaves office. Any judges he appoints will sit on the bench for ten years.

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