Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Rule of Ilegality in Venezuela

I have had in mind writing an article about the difference between the Venezuelan Courts and the U.S. courts when it comes to actually applying 'the law', but law being very far from my interests I have not found the motivation to do the research about the details. Thankfully Miguel has found, and analyzed, an excellent document by a Venezuelan ex-supreme court justice (it's in spanish, but you can find it in Miguel's post) regarding the undemocratic, biased, and unconstitutional character of the new and improved revolutionary supreme court of Venezuela.

This is another point that seems impossible to get through to citizens of 'first world' countries. From the perspective of a working, albeit imperfect, legal system, it seems extremely hard to comprehend that when we say that we have 'partisan judges,' we mean judges that work for a party, not even bothering to give any veneer of justification for their partisan actions, and that would actually be on the public record as staunch supporters of the Chavez regime. When we say that the court is 'biased' we don't mean that the justices are left or right-leaning, we mean that _everything_ that the regime says must be right, unless your case is so outrageously strong that the international community might actually be outraged if they ruled the other way, and most times even that is not enough.

From the perspective of having a centuries old and extremely brief constitution, it seems hard to understand that when we say that a decision by the supreme court is 'unconstitutional,' we actually mean that there is an article of our constitution that explicitly says that what they did is illegal, not to mention that most of the constitutional assembly members are still alive though not so well, so we have plenty of people to point it out.

From Miguel's article:

...the "new" (and improved?) Court resolved the unconstitutionality of its own existence, as well as the requirements needed to be part of it, going as far as saying that the prerequisite of being a Full Professor of Law, does not mean you need to have an academic career, but simply that you are a Professor at any university, even at lower ranks.

The Court itself also approved and ratified that the National Assembly can approve, by simple majority, the New Supreme Court Bill, extending the number of Justices from 20 to 32, as well as the ability of the Assembly to remove or sanction Justices by a simple majority. This was accomplished in part, by the Court itself ratifying the validity of the new regulations of the National Assembly, also approved by simple majority. Talk about conflict of interest!

Yet another problem with bias and labels and if you have read my 'tenets' you already know that. But would you please stop using the label 'democracy' when you refer to such an outrageous government system?.

Now, would you also please consider this perspective when you think about Harriet Myers as a supreme Court nominee?. Or as Alfred E Newman would say, 'who, me worry?'

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