Panama justice system faces test in 2023 – business leaders

Two former presidents facing trial.

1,209Views 0Comments Posted 29/01/2023


Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (Cciap) warned Sunday  that in 2023 the Panamanian administration of justice will be put to the test with high-profile cases that are under the magnifying glass of the international community.

The business leaders stressed that these cases will demand independence, honesty, transparency, promptness in their actions and adherence to the law.

“The Judicial Branch will have to resolve cases long awaited by Panamanians and that have Panama in the magnifying glass of the entire world. Therefore, no less is expected of those who are in charge of such a delicate function, hoping that they make use of all the tools that the Political Constitution and legal norms provide them, so that justice is done in an expeditious time", said the Cciap statement.

In 2023, the hearings of two high-profile cases are scheduled- New Business and Odebrecht. In both, Judge Baloisa Marquínez, of the Second Criminal Case Settlement Court, called former President Ricardo Martinelli  trial. In addition, in the Odebrecht case, former president Juan Carlos Varela was also called to trial.

The Chamber stressed that despite progress in recent years in terms of justice, the country still maintains a National Attorney in charge, awaiting ratification.

Citizen mistrust 
In addition, questions prevail in the way in which justice is delivered, a situation that generates citizen mistrust and the perception of impunity.

“In order to build a real and reliable future for all Panamanians, each of the actors in society must contribute to strengthening our democratic model, one of whose basic components is an accurate, transparent and impartial Justice Administration System. That's what it's all about."

The business union recalled the importance of establishing public policies that promote the strengthening of the administration of justice and the rule of law.

Likewise, it is stated that this transformation should be aimed at ensuring the transparency of judicial management, which facilitates access to justice, in a timely manner, and encourages accountability.