Supreme Court Waits for a Concrete Plan
The administrative director of the Courts, Sigfrido Steidel Figueroa, said yesterday that due to the lack of clarity in the cuts scenario to the Central Government Retirement System, the Supreme Court will abstain from voicing an opinion.
'It is something that is not concrete. So, in that sense, we are examining the proposals and we believe that in the next few days the subject will be much clearer and more concrete so we may be in a better position to know the reach of all these proposals, be it on the pensioners matter or the Judicial branch and the estimated budget. At this moment it seems that, since it has not solidified, it would be premature of us to pass judgement over the position we will assume', said Steidel Figueroa to questions from the press.
On what awaits the Judicial Branch in the next few months pertaining to the judicial retirement plan, the administrative director of the Courts limited to say that if the judges' retirement plans are touched, this could upset various aspects that go beyond economy, of which he highlighted judicial independence.
'I cannot anticipate what will finally happen; there is already a respective plan that has various ramifications: one is the personal impact for each of the retired judges, another is the impact that can have one of the constitutional guaranties about judicial independence and a third is a legal controversy'.
On the collaboration of the judicial branch with other government branches to achieve an economy that neither compromises labor days nor Christmas bonuses for the employees, Steidel Figueroa answered that they would be willing to do it, in fact he informed that they have done it several times.
'Well, it is the duty of every judge to defend the judicial independence. The truth is that we are in a situation where the Judicial Branch has contributed to solve and get over the crisis since before there was a Federal Oversight Board, by taking control spending measures. We are waiting for a clearly established projection of the impact of all the budget cuts in all areas to see how the Judicial Branch, that has contributed to achieving different economies in different areas, continues collaborating with other government branches to achieve economy and we may confront the crisis with success', added the administrative director.
The declarations were made yesterday at the Supreme Court at a time when twenty-seven new judges were taking oath into the office. They swore in 13 municipal judges, four appeal judges and 10 superior judges. Between the judges that got sworn in this afternoon, there was the ex-secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO, for its Spanish acronym), Nery Adames, and the lawyers Vance Thomas and Gina Méndez Miró.
These newly sworn in judges will be supervised for 12 years by Superior and Municipal Judges, and 16 years for the Judges of Appeals.