Legal Problems in Venezuela

The advent of Venezuela’s constituent assembly of 1999, and with it, a new Constitution, with a whole new organization of the different branches of government, has drawn to public attention the preponderance of the political power that one particular branch “?the Judiciary- had attained with this new organization. The new Constitution organized the Judiciary from top to bottom as follows: – At the top lies the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with six different chambers comprised of 3 Justices each, with the exception of the Constitutional Chamber, composed of 5 Justices, and the Plenary Chamber which gathers the totality of Justices in the Tribunal, and meets to take administrative and politically influential decisions reserved to it by the Constitution. The Constitution also gave a particular chamber “?The Constitutional- a certain preponderance vis-?Ÿ?ÿ-vis all other chambers of the Tribunal, which lies in the power of constitutional control over their rulings. All Justices are appointed by the National Assembly to 9-year terms, which are renewable at the end of such terms. Interestingly, the power to administrate the branch centrally and to appoint the country’s judges also lies on the Supreme Tribunal. – The aforementioned administrative control was delegated by the Supreme Tribunal into a constitutionally created body, the Executive Directorship, nonetheless retaining in a specially created “Judicial Commission” certain decision making power, and hierarchical control over the Executive Directorship. – At the bottom lies? all courts and tribunals, which are nationally, regionally and locally administered. The Supreme Tribunal appoints all Judges. Administrative staffs that serve judges are appointed by the Executive Directorship. This brief introduction may have served the purpose of providing the reader with the sense that a power constructed in such a way retains an immeasurable amount of power. Being it…

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