Magistrate Ruiz de Lara recently opened the continuing education courses in the Faculty of Law

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Manuel Ruiz de Lara, Magistrate at the Trade Court No 10 of Barcelona, gave a talk entitled “Judicial independence” on 12 September.  This session is the first in a series of continuing education conferences which the Faculty of Law organises every academic year. 

Magistrate Ruiz de Lara recently opened the continuing education courses in the Faculty of Law

During his talk the magistrate explained why judicial independence is necessary in a democratic state and why in Spain in some cases it may not completely be so.  Among other things, the magistrate criticised the way of appointing the spokespeople for the General Council of Judicial Power (CGPJ) who are elected by the General Courts (the Congress and the Senate). 

As the magistrate himself explained, quite often pressure from political parties is hidden behind what appears to be popular sovereignty. 

“If the Judge who takes on a corruption case is thinking that they want to be a spokesperson for the CGPJ, and at the end of the day to be a spokesperson they need to be nominated by a political party and then they have to deal with a corruption case that may affect a political party, they may be tempted to interpret, or research in a certain place, or dictate a favourable or unfavourable sentence”, he said. 

Ruiz de Lara gave recent examples in which judicial independence was damaged.   

The magistrate also underlined the fact that judges and magistrates “have to maintain their impartiality, but also the appearance of impartiality”.

With this talk, Magistrate Ruiz de Lara opened the continuing education course series in the Faculty of Law. The series, which will continue throughout the academic year, brings students closer to new trends and the demands of the legal sector hand in hand with prestigious professionals who experience this at first hand.