The new governing body of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) has become more conservative. This happened when the Conservative Professional Association of the Magistracy (APM) won the November 26th elections to the High Court by obtaining six of the seven positions at stake.
The conservative association achieved the control of the Government Chamber with a total of 524 votes cast, the APM celebrated it with a message which emphasized that its “commitment is firm in the defense of the professional interests of peers and the rule of law.”
The new magistrates that enter the plenary of the TSJC and took office on Tuesday are Maria Eugènia Alegret Burgués, Patricia Brotons Carrasco, Juan Francisco Garnica Martín, Elena Campos Martín, Patricia Batlle Ferrando, Joaquín Elias Gadea Francés and Montserrat Comas de Argemir Cendra. Their mandate will last for 5 years.
The new composition makes the TSJC more conservative. Only one progressive magistrate, Montserrat Comas, of Judges for Democracy was elected. The rest of the magistrates are part of the APM.
The body is formed of 15 members: the president of the TSJC, the presidents of the social section and the contentious administrative section of the TSJC, the presidents of the four provincial gatherings and the jury dean of Barcelona. The other 7 members are elected, directly by judges and magistrates, and renewed every 5 years.
In this regard, the President of the TSJC, Jesús Maria Barrientos, admitted that “the system of assignment of positions can suggest the need for some correction that provides for a better reflection of the plurality of the race,” referring to the members that are not voted, but designated by law.
In a speech almost entirely in Spanish, Barrientos criticized the pro-independence movement for what he considers “a criminal” process executed by leaders seeking independence. Barrientos also thanked all the judges and magistrates in Catalonia for their commitment to “being responsible for the management of an adverse environment at various levels, and also at the constitutional level overcoming difficulties with great generosity and a high institutional sense of worth.”