Commerce Chamber asks judicial reform

662Views 3Comments Posted 04/09/2017

PANAMA’S Chamber Chamber of Commerce, (Cciap)  has joined the growing chorus of civil groups calling for urgent changes  to the country’s judicial system.

In a statement issued on Sunday, September 4  it urges authorities and society to work on the "rearrangement" of the system. through a constitutional reform "to advance as a nation respectful of the law, with a Judicial Body that is a true counterweight  that would and administer justice in an impartial and efficient manner."

The position of the business association follows  the report  last week by  Attorney General Kenia Porcell,

last week that cases that investigations of corruption and money laundering run the risk of being unfinished  through impunity and that there are pressures and threats against prosecutors handling cases.

President, Juan Carlos Varela, has called on the Judicial Branch to act in the interests of the nation, in order to recover more than a $1.5 billion diverted from the  Panamanian people during the last government.

In this context, the Cciap said the process of designating new judges of the Supreme Court of Justice becomes more important, "

“We appeal that those who are selected for these positions, are the most suitable people, with high moral standards and are selected after a broad debate to check such merits.

"It is necessary that in Panama we achieve a true state where the law prevails and is applied equally  to all, without difference, "the organization said .

Varela has already said  he will not be relying on civil input in the selection of judges, but will use his constitutional right to chose two new judges in December. One of his last choices made the  controversial ruling over the $125 million purchase of radars from Italian conglomerate  Finmeccanica, that  absolve former Security Minister Raul Mulino and created a national furor.