The former president of the General Council of the Judiciary and of the Supreme Court Pascual Sala, who in 1996 had to face a situation of blockade of the governing body of judges similar to the current one, considers that now the same remedy that was used then to solve the problem, through a "collective resignation" of members, in sufficient number so that there was no quorum and it was unavoidable to renew the institution.
Sala explains to EL PAÍS that then the effects of the lack of agreement to unblock the Council were much less serious than at present, because the delay was only a few months, but that the members of the institution managed to agree to force the situation without the need for everyone to resign.
"In that case it was enough," recalls Sala, "for six members to resign, enough at that time to make the remainder of the rest meaningless, now without a quorum."
In the current situation, in which the Council is made up of 18 members, the lack of a quorum would occur with 8 resignations, which would leave the governing body with 10 members, when the quorum necessary to make decisions is 11.
The progressive sector of the Judiciary will meet on Monday to discuss whether to resign en bloc
“In 1996 it was time to renew the Council of the Judiciary, but there was an electoral process underway and the contacts to achieve it took a few months.
After the elections to the Cortes they already had the possibility of renewing and I pointed it out to them.
But they delayed me and then the necessary members resigned to render the Council useless, and immediately the Cortes renewed the institution.
So there is a real case, a precedent, which is mine, in which the replacements were achieved in this way, resigning the necessary members so that the Council would be useless due to the lack of a quorum to make decisions.
Finally, this is how the renovation was achieved in times of Aznar's PP, which is the one that had won the elections”.
Pascual Sala adds that "now we could act in the same way, of course."
The one who was president of the judicial leadership between 1990 and 1996 explains that he does not want to give advice to anyone or interfere in the work of the current members.
He considers, however, that his is a precedent to take into account, especially in extreme situations such as the current one, in which the governing body of the magistracy has been pending renewal for more than four years and next December will have doubled the period of his natural term of five years if the legislature ends without an agreement to change this situation.
Sala emphasizes that an exit of this type does not require many procedures.
"It is enough that the president of the Council accept the resignations."
He adds that in his opinion there can be no administrative or other responsibility for a set of resignations, whether of some or all of the members of the governing body of judges.
"With the resignations accepted, the Council becomes useless, the government of a state power completely inactive."
The Chamber also considers that the president who admits this type of resignation would not incur any legal responsibility either, especially considering that it would be a decision to facilitate compliance with the Constitution itself, which establishes that the General Council of the Judiciary must be renewed every five years, a mandate that is not available, at the will of the recipient.
The former president of the Judiciary believes that the appropriate measures should have been put into practice a long time ago to lead to a renewal of the Council.
“After one year without renewal, the necessary measures would have had to be put into practice to unblock the situation.
I do not want to undermine the current Council.
I have not wanted nor do I want to intervene, of course.
In the Council they already know what happened in the renewal of 1996. A constitutional body cannot be delayed twice its mandate.
The resignations could have promoted the renewal.
But it must also be taken into account that no one can force the members to leave their post, this is also important”.
For Pascual Sala, the most relevant thing is, in any case, to take into consideration that such a way out of the crisis that the Judiciary is going through is legitimate and has the successful precedent of the episode that he himself and the members of the Council that he chaired decided to launch.
“Then the renewal delay was only a few months, and in special circumstances, because there had been an electoral process in the middle.
Let's imagine if it would be justified and make sense now, four years and four months behind in the renewal."
Once the agreement was reached and the factual situation that unblocked the Council was obtained, "I am not aware that anyone suffered any consequences in their interests or protested at all for the decisions made."
The Cortes took note of what happened and there was an agreement “between the PP, which had won the elections,
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