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Mexico Court declares Court President term extension Unconstitutional

2 min read

Anushka Sharma –

Published On: November 20, 2021 at 14:10 IST

The Mexican Supreme Court unanimously declared Unconstitutional a reform decree that extended the terms of the Court’s President and Federal Judicial Council Members by two years.

The Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) ruled that the term extension was Illegal under Mexican Constitutional Articles 97 and Article 100 define the procedures for appointing the Court’s President and council members and lay down the term limits for these Judiciary members.

These articles also explain Mexico’s Constitutional supremacy principles and urge for Judicial autonomy and independence.

The Court ruled that Judicial officials’ terms must conclude on the date set at the time of their appointment. As a result, current Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldvar Lelo de Larrea’s four-year term will come to an end on December 31, 2022. Zaldvar would have remained the Court’s President until late 2024 if the reform decree had been upheld by the Court.

In April, Mexico’s Senate agreed to prolong the term of the President of the Supreme Court in order to combat nepotism and corruption.

The Senate approved the reform decree by a vote of 80 to 25. Leaders of the National Action Party (PAN) warned that allowing Congress to extend a Judicial term could set a precedent for extending the term of Mexico’s President.

These politicians urged Zaldvar to declare the reform decree that would extend his tenure Unlawful. Zaldvar concurred with the Court’s unanimous finding that the decree was Illegal.

The court will now give Mexico’s President and Congress official notice of its Judgement, after which the proclamation will take effect.