Panama’s Supreme Court declares Law 406 unconstitutional

2,466Views 0Comments Posted 28/11/2023


The Supreme Court of Panama (CSJ) declared Law 406 of October 20, 2023, which adopts the contract between the State and Minera Panama, unconstitutional.

The decision was announced on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, by María Eugenia López Arias, presiding judge of the CSJ - and accompanied by her eight colleagues - from the Cassation Chamber of Judge Gabriel Elías Fernández Madrid, in the Gil Ponce Palace of Justice, in Ancón.

“As president of the CSJ, I inform the country that the judges who make up the plenary session have unanimously decided to declare the entire Law 406 of October 20, 2023, unconstitutional. The above means that the aforementioned law is expelled from the system. regulations that govern the country. We have instructed the secretary general, in accordance with the Judicial Code , to proceed to make the corresponding notifications. Once the sentence is enforceable, it will immediately be sent for publication in the Official Gazette,” said Judge López Arias.

The law had led to nationwide protests road blockades and the closure of schools as teachers’ unions declared a strike.

The nine judges of the Supreme Court declared themselves in permanent session on Friday, November 24, to analyze two of the lawsuits filed against the rule by lawyers Juan Ramón Sevillano and Martita Cornejo Robles.

More than 1,300 people have been arrested by the National Police since the beginning of the demonstrations against Law 406.

The contract with Minera Panamá was authorized by the Cabinet Council on October 10, 2023; endorsed by Comptroller General Gerardo Solís on October 13; presented to the National Assembly on October 16, and finally approved in the third debate, sanctioned by President Laurentino Cortizo and promulgated in the Official Gazette on October 20, all on the same day.