By majority, the Full Court agreed that the fiscal plan (file 20.580) affects the Judiciary, so 11 judges asked four specific aspects to be modified in the project.
Rodrigo Campos, Legal Director of the Judiciary, explained what the Court wants in detail:
-That the Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN) has no power in the Judiciary: it is not a salary issue. There are other aspects, meaning they don’t want interference in the structure or organization of the positions.
-That the Civil Service, which is a simple mandatory and binding order, is not linked to the Judicial Branch in the areas of performance evaluation.
-That the transfers foreseen at the constitutional level and at the legal level are not affected by the fiscal rule. This has to do with transfers for laws that the legislator has created (such as the fight against organized crime, Public Defense, Protection of Victims and Witnesses)
-That the issue of salary components opens the way towards respect to the particularities of the Judicial Power, such as aspects of the Judicial Career, the work of agents of the Judicial Investigation Organization (OIJ), or judges working at night.
Considering that it affects the operation of the Judicial Power, the natural thing is that a project like this was approved with a qualified majority (38 votes). It should be noted that the project was approved on October 5th with 35 votes in the first reading. Since it was processed with a fast track, it did not require a qualified majority.
Now, the Constitutional Chamber will have to clarify if there were procedural defects in the process of the project that, if determined, would send the text back to the first reading to get the necessary 38 votes.
On Tuesday, the magistrates discussed the scope of the project in the institution. One of the most forceful expositions was given by Fernando Cruz, who assured that the current text threatens the independence of the Judicial Power and showed his outright opposition.