REFORM OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM IN ECUADOR
1. General Description and explanation of the Ecuadorian Judicial System
1. Corte nacional de justicia (The National Court of Justice)
It’s composed of 21 judges who are designed for a period of 9 years and they cannot be re-elected.
1) To know the appeals in the high court, revision and others resources established by law
2) To develop case law system based on triple reiteration failures.
3) To know the cases initiated against civil servants who enjoy immunity
4) To Introduce law projects related to the system of administration of justice.
2. Cortes provinciales de justicia (Provincial Courts ...view middle of the document...
It exercises national jurisdiction.
JURISDICTION: the right or power to administer justice and to apply law
On May 7th 2011, there was a referendum in Ecuador in order to make in a democratic way the Judicial Function’s Reform proposed by Rafael Correa.
In this referendum 53.8% of Ecuadorians supported the reform in order to eliminate the excessive use of the remand, to avoid impunity, to guarantee the appearance to the penal judges and modify the Consejo de la Judicatura. It had more support in the structural change of the Judicial Function in order to have a social, impartial, democratic, transparent and independent justice.
REMAND: Remand (court procedure) when an appellate court sends a case back to the trial court or lower appellate court for further action
IMPUNITY: is the lack of punishment. When there’s impunity, the person that has committed a crime doesn’t receive the punishment that he/she deserves; there are no sanctions for this.
1. Origin and Structure of the International Oversight
1. What is Oversight?
It is the democratic mechanism of representation that allows citizens or different organizations to apply surveillance on a public management in relation to administrative, political and judicial authorities.
Once the reform was supported from Ecuadorians, President Correa invited the Consejo de la Judicatura Transitorio (CJT) and a group of international experts to constitute the International Oversight in order to make the reform in a democratic and transparent way. This group had 6 supervisors:
Baltasar Garzón Real (Spain) - Coordinator
Carolina Escobar Sarti (Guatemala)- Sub-coordinator
MarigenHornkohl Venegas (Chile)
Marco Aurelio García (Brazil)
Victor Hugo Foresi (Argentina)
Porfirio Muñoz Ledo (Mexico)
The International Oversight had a Technical Support team in Ecuador in order to have the required information to supervise the process given by the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social, Ministerio de Justicia and Derechos Humanos y Cultos.
They had to act in an autonomous, impartial and independent respecting the Ecuadorian Constitution, the Internal Law of Ecuador and the international rules that protect Human Rights. For this, they selected participants to make the interviews with the following criteria:
- Democratic context: actors from different ideological tendencies
- Pluralist Context: women groups, Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social.
- Academic Context: different universities’ academics
- Institutional Context: Corte Nacional de Justicia, Cortes Provinciales, Defensoría Pública, Fiscalía General del Estado and Consejo de Judicatura Transitorio, Asamblea Nacional.
- International Context: interviews to UN representatives
- Citizen Context: Members of Law School, Federación Nacional de Judiciales, victims of the Comisión de la Verdad.