«It is necessary to create a new Investigative Court»

«It is necessary to create a new Investigative Court»
Descriptive text here

After the celebration of the XXXII National Conference of Senior Judges of Spain that was recently held in Jerez de la Frontera, in which the reforms contained in Royal Decree Law 6/2023 and the governmental actions of the senior judges, as well as the need to increase the number of judicial units, the senior judge of Albacete, Pedro Benito López, explains the conclusions they have reached and the situation of the Albacete courts.

One of the main topics that have been discussed at the conference has been that of digital efficiency.

The Royal Decree was justified by European funds, which were intended for the digitalization of justice. With the Royal Decree, the focus of telematic hearings and the testimony of witnesses, experts and others by videoconference changes, so that, in principle, the general rule would be telematic hearings, as for professionals, whenever possible and that the judge does not agree otherwise or that it is considered that it may affect the development of the trial.

A proposal that does not adjust to the reality of the courts.

What was discussed, as a conclusion at the Deans’ Conference, is that it implies that there are sufficient technical means in two aspects, firstly that the systems for telematic communications work well and that the Royal Decree Law is developed, in that it requires that These are secure access points and safe places, which requires regulatory development to guarantee the authenticity of the communications and the identity of the participants.

Regarding the videoconferencing system, the problem is that if the declaration by videoconference from another court is generalized, it implies the use of a room from the court from which the person testifies, with the recording system, which implies on the one hand , that it is necessary to increase the available rooms with recording and communication systems in all judicial districts, because two courts are used, the court in which the trial is being held and the court from which the intervener testifies. On the other hand, the compatibility of the different systems used in the different territories is necessary, because the territories with transferred powers, which are the majority, use other systems.

As a deanery, more spaces would be needed, more rooms to hold the videoconferences that are requested, from other judicial districts.

Would more rooms and compatible means of communication be needed in Albacete?

Albacete is not bad, unless there was a disproportionate increase in videoconferences, since the rooms available from the Common Service of Notifications and Seizures would have to be increased in the same proportion, which is where videoconferences are made for the rest of Spain, could be noted and celebrated.

In their conclusions, the deans also call for Public Information and Service Offices.

Regarding this, what was discussed is that if Information and Public Service Offices are established, these offices must be served by officials from the Justice Administration bodies, by managers, processors and officials from the auxiliary body, because giving information to the public about a specific procedure, you need to have specific knowledge, which would not be valid with personnel outside the Administration of Justice.

Therefore, would more officials be necessary?

Yes, these Information and Public Service Offices would have to be implemented with officials from the Administration of Justice.


In their conclusions they also talk about a guide for government actions.

This is a novelty that has been agreed and has been made as a document open to modifications or its improvement and refinement, a guide to the questions that senior judges usually ask themselves, so that it is available to all the deans in Spain, even of small parties or senior judges who begin government functions, in order to resolve the most frequent doubts and help carry out these government tasks, for which there is, in principle, no specialized training, at the time in which you you join a government position.

What are the most common doubts that exist?

Well, as for the convocations of judges, the quorum, assistants, the right to vote, the agenda, the election of a dean who has a specific regulation, the calling of substitute judges, things of this type.

On the other hand, they request that the guard system for judges and magistrates should be established by the Lawyers of the Administration of Justice (LAJ).

The certification of the guards of the judges and magistrates had been done by the LAJ of the court on duty, but since last summer the Ministry recovered an exclusion, which apparently existed, which says that the certification of the guards of the judges and magistrates magistrates must be made by the senior judge. The problem is that you are forced to certify something that, in reality, you do not know through direct knowledge, because you are not in the court on duty. Furthermore, certification, in principle, is a function of the LAJ, which is why it is proposed to the Ministry that the certification of the guards be carried out by the LAJ of the guard court, as was usually done.

They have also addressed the issue of the workload of the courts.

In general, it was proposed that for these days a study be carried out, which would be preliminary, by the senior judges, as they are aware of the needs in each judicial district, of the positions of judges that are necessary, to compare them with the rest of reports that exist on the matter.

The main conclusion of this preliminary study that was carried out and which is not complete, because it was not carried out by all the judicial parties, but only by those who responded, is that on average the needs detected in terms of number of judges by the senior judges represent more than double those indicated by the Inspection Service of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) in 2023. According to the Inspection report, 269 judges were needed and according to the deans, more than 500 are needed. It should be noted that the positions created by the Ministry last year were 70. There is a great disproportion, which is why we want the vision of the senior judges to be taken into account, as they know the needs.

What is the situation in Albacete?

I do not have the data of the CGPJ Inspection Service on Albacete, I have looked at the TSJ Report that indicated the need to create two Courts of First Instance, a Criminal and a Social, I consider that the creation of a Court of Instruction is necessary , in addition to two Instances, a Criminal and a Social, within the judicial district of Albacete. As urgent needs, the judicial district of Albacete needs two Courts of Instance, a Criminal Court, a Social Court and an Instruction Court. These are the essential ones immediately.

These cannot be postponed, but more are needed.

Yes, of course, because the increase in litigation, especially in First Instance and Social, is continuous.



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