24.05.13 // Institutional Strengthening, News

Transparency in judicial selection in the city of Buenos Aires

ACIJ publishes reports on judicial selection in Buenos Airesand shares best practices and recommendation in events with key government and civil society actors

Culminating several years of active monitoring of the judicial selection processes in the City of Buenos Aires, ACIJ published two reports summarizing its conclusions and discussed them in several important events with civil society and judicial branch actors, aiming to improve standards of transparency, fair play, and citizen participation in a process which can be opaque and discretionary.

While judges, lawyers, politicians, academics and average citizens have been debating grand reforms to the judicial system and the Council of Magistrates, certain concrete, practical issues have tended to fall through the cracks. Equally important for the consolidation of the independence of the judiciary is the effectiveness and the transparency of the specific mechanisms created for judicial selection. Since the members of the judiciary acquire their legitimacy not via democratic election but through their integrity and fitness for the position, these processes acquire particular transcendence.

The two documents, “Judicial Selection in the City ofBuenos Aires” and “Recommendations and Best Practices” analyze the judicial selection process and offer up realistic proposals to strengthen its legitimacy. These include decreasing the point value of the most discretional parts of the processes (such as personal interviews), setting standards for gender equity, ensuring complete (print and audiovisual) access to information at every point of the project to facilitate peer monitoring and creating mechanisms that allow for favoritism to be denounced and investigated.

These documents were presented at a round table discussion inBuenos Airesin March, where they were met with great interest from Magistrates’ Council members, legislators and judges and it is hoped that they will serve as the basis for a broader debate and for the swift application of best practices. Afterwards, they were presented in a congress of legal advocacy organizations meeting in the city ofTucumánin April, where organizations from 6 provinces of northern and centralArgentinalearned about ACIJ’s work and shared their own experiences.

 The reports can be accessed here (Judicial Selection in BA) and here (Recommendations and Best Practices) (both in Spanish)