Spanish judges strike again to demand reforms

9th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Hundreds of judges took part in a second ever one-day strike to demand for more resources for the Spanish judicial system.

Madrid – Hundreds of judges in Spain staged their second ever strike on Thursday to call for more resources for the country's overburdened judicial system, judicial associations said.

A total of 1,048 judges, or around 23 percent of those currently active, observed the protest throughout the country, according to the CGPJ, the body that oversees the judiciary.

But the Professional Association of Magistrates (APM), which called the one-day strike, said it was observed by some 35 percent of the 4,500 judges, and described it as a "success".

Most of the country's courts were reported to be operating normally, including the Supreme Court.

Last February, two judges' associations – but not the APM – staged an unprecedented one-day strike to demand more financial resources and the creation of 1,200 new positions for the sector.

Since then the government has pledged to create 600 new courts and invest EUR 600 million to modernise the courts over three years, measures which the APM has said are insufficient.

Spain's ruling Socialist Party termed Thursday's strike "illegal" and "irresponsible," while the conservative opposition Popular Party called it "inappropriate".

In October 2008, Spanish court staff went on strike after a judge and a court official were punished for failing to send to prison a convicted paedophile who later allegedly killed a five-year-old girl.

Then, unions said that action was needed to draw attention to a lack of resources at courts. This in turn led to the error of letting the paedophile remain at large despite being convicted.

AFP / Expatica

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