Monitoring judge selection processes and promoting citizen participation
The ‘Transparent Contests‘ initiative aims to monitor and promote citizen participation in the selection process of judges in Argentina. The open and competitive judge selection process by a selection body (Judiciary Council) intends to guarantee, among other issues, that selected candidates are non-partisan and unaffiliated with interest groups. Although intended to be a meritocratic process, political powers still tend to informally control the appointment of magistrates. Through this unique platform, ACIJ found a way to address the recurrent problem of lack of transparency in the competitions.
During 2014 we continued to monitor the contests to become magistrates, prosecutors and defenders, taking part in various contests opened by the Judiciary Council of the City of Buenos Aires.
Additionally, we questioned the appointment of Martin Farrell as a magistrate -a former officer of the City of Buenos Aires-, showing the applicant’s poor performance over the course of the competition, and alerting the established schedule was putting in danger the discussion of his statement in the Legislature of the City, allowing its tacit approval. As a consequence of the lack of answers, along with other actors, we presented a legal action requesting a new schedule that does not affect the right of the legislators and the citizenship to be established. Finally, the State Legislature rejected Martín Farrell’s appointment.
In the media:
- “The appointment of a judge falls for lack of support” La Nación, 20.06.2014
- “Against the appointment of a judge” Página 12, 19.06.2014