Globetrotting judges up expenses 93%, staff get bonus cut

456Views 3Comments Posted 09/12/2019

In spite the budget problems of Panama’s  Supreme Court of Justice, the judges  racked up travel expenses of $64,540 for between January and September 2019.

In the same period of 2018, the expense incurred by the magistrates in this concept totaled $33, 512, that is,  an increase of 92.5%.

The report comes at the same time as a memo circulated to lower-level judicial staff that because of austerity, Christmas bonuses would be limited to $300.

According to a report by the Judicial Branch, the president of the Court, Hernán De León, is the one who made the most trips

José Ayú Prado, whose overseas trips over the years are legendary is the second in the list of magistrates that records most expenses in per diem and tickets to attend activities in China, Austria, the United States, and Spain.

The document details that magistrates traveled to participate in workshops, world conferences, courses, congresses and regional meetings of magistrates and judges.

On the other hand, in the list of Judicial Organ officials who have traveled there are 13 assistants of judges of the plenary of the Court. Magistrates of the Second Superior Court also appear, such as María Luisa Vijil de Laniado and Secundino Mendieta.

In the report of the Judicial Branch, there are no trips by magistrates Harry Diaz, Jerónimo Mejía and Olmedo Arrocha.

As part of the measures to reduce operating and investment expenses, in the spending containment plans announced in  July, the Executive stated that the Judicial Branch should reduce at least $10.2 million.

Between January and September 2019, the expenses on travel expenses and transportation abroad of the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) and officials of the Judicial Branch totaled $254,319

For the same period of 2018, the cost was  $239,000, according to a report published on the website of the Judicial Branch.

That is to say, an increase in travel and per diem for the order of $ 14. 412 dollars, despite the lack of resources for justice, an issue that has been the source of complaints by the president of the Court, Hernán De León, and in the middle of a announced state policy of containment of public spending.

On November 26, when supporting an extraordinary credit in the Budget Committee of the National Assembly, of about $14 million, Judges José Ayú Prado and Luis Ramón Fábrega spoke about the limitations of resources in the Judicial system reports La Prensa.

in October of this year, when five magistrates attended the Assembly to support the 2020 Judicial budget, they said the cuts would impede the full execution of the desired judicial career, to which $10 million had been allocated. The magistrates asked for $250 million  but the Ministry of Economy and Finance recommended $166 million

According to the report, in 2019 De León traveled seven times abroad. He visited countries like Guatemala, Austria, China, Portugal, Colombia and he was twice in Spain.

Ayú Prado, from the Criminal Chamber, also traveled to China and other countries such as Austria, the United States and twice to Spain. While magistrates Cecilio Cedalise, Abel Augusto Zamorano and Luis Ramón Fábrega traveled twice each.



Comments 3

George Klk

Panama | Magistrates On The Wild Side. A young Magistrate can handle the Jet Lags and take more trips. What if the Magistrate decides to have a little fling on the side? What if the Magistrate decides to keep the companion, no one knows, right? The little mistress says...I like jewelry and diamonds! The little mistress says...I'm pregnant! I need child support! Magistrates earn $millions over the years and has...some Panama funds! Panama learns about it 10 - 20 years latter and the kids are off to college...$$$? No one knows and those trips are increasing with larger amounts! Magistrates get raises...$thousands for the asking. Magistrates says...not enough money to carry out the office of the magistrate. Panama must hash out $250 million if they want justice...(a little for the mistress?). Got a problem? Accusing me? I will sue the media again and again! News media loses enormous profits and corruption is now an underground business controlled mafia with fine mistresses...and fine joke!

1 month ago

Why bother to be on a budget? What Panama can do is borrow money to pay for the Judges travel. Thats what the US does. Borrow borrow borrow. Don't worry about the future. Its only printed money right? Borrowing money steals money from future generations. Thats not a problem right?

1 month ago
George Klk

Panama | First Two Magistrates Expense to Panama...$45, 000 (+) Unjustified. Panama Magistrates know the laws cold with undeterred arrogance! Magistrates at this high an expense shell out $thousands for their hotel comforts. Magistrates at this high an expense shell out $thousands for their exclusive restaurants. Magistrates at this … limousines and multiple air travels and back to Spain. Magistrates at this … hotel comforts to sleep off jet lag. Magistrates at this … return trip to Panama … state not enough money … lazy man excuse. Magistrates travels, hotels, fine restaurants and fine wine makes for a … lazy man excuse. Magistrates knows simplicity of complex cases is comfort and manageable. Magistrates knows complex cases means … job security … what's the hurry? Complex cases means more work and challenges and unprepared … ignorance of the law! Magistrates … What's $250 million? … Just a drop in the bucket!

1 month ago
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