Choosing judges

Perhaps it would make more sense to choose those who give the orders rather than those who follow them

As we are all well aware, thanks to Hollywood, in certain states in the US (Texas, for example) judges and prosecutors are directly elected by public vote. Elections are held —again, it’s something we’ve seen in the movies— to choose the judge and the district attorney.

I’m sure that this system, designed to ensure an independent judiciary, has its advantages and disadvantages. But there are days when one can’t help but ask oneself why we don’t do the same, since then the people would be able to choose directly those who are really in charge.

As was made apparent in the official obituary for the judge of the 13th Court, who was praised for having changed the course of Spanish history (1). Of course, here it wouldn’t be a matter of protecting the independence of the judiciary from political influence. Here it’s about protecting the independence of political power from a judiciary which has the will and the strength to take political decisions of the utmost gravity. A judicial power which is clearly diverse, but where enormously ideologized sectors exist which are not subject to the vote nor to public scrutiny. One which overturns decisions made by parliaments and which decides on their political composition. Perhaps it would make more sense to choose those who give the orders rather than those who follow them.

________
Translator’s note:

(1) Judge Sunyer, who died in 2018, had been investigating the preparations for the Catalan independence referendum, in his capacity as the head of Barcelona's Court Number 13.

More content