King Felipe VI receives in audience the president of the Constitutional Court, Cándido Conde-Pumpido, this Wednesday at the La Zarzuela palace in Madrid. JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO (EFE)
Amparo appeals—complaints from citizens for alleged violations of fundamental rights—continue to be the chapter that provides the greatest task and the greatest number of matters pending resolution by the Constitutional Court, according to its activities report for last year. Thus, in 2022, the majority of new cases were requests for protection, 8,528, 99.27% of the open files. But the number of claims that are accepted for processing is much lower, since they do not exceed 158, the majority of which – by pure statistical prediction, based on what happened in previous years – will not prosper when the issue is resolved. raised background.
Aware of the problems that this situation poses for the court itself, but especially for the appellants, the Constitutional Court has put into force this year a form that must be filled out in each request for protection. The purpose is to expedite the first admission process, so that only matters that raise issues with possible constitutional relevance remain pending for ruling, not mere complaints for alleged violation of rights.
In any case, the accumulation of matters does not depend only on the amparo appeals, but also on other very relevant matters brought before the court, such as challenges to state or autonomous community laws, through unconstitutionality appeals, conflicts of powers, or the doubts of ordinary courts about specific laws, which translate into processes called questions of unconstitutionality. Only one party, Vox—which then had more than 50 deputies, the minimum required for unconstitutionality appeals—presented 46 challenges against laws in the legislature.
At the end of 2022, a total of 6,328 matters (6,312 amparo claims, 5 unconstitutionality appeals and 11 unconstitutionality issues) were pending a decision on their admission, compared to 4,960 in 2021, which translates into 27%. further. And already in the resolution phase, pending sentencing, there were 283 cases, compared to 254 in 2021, which is equivalent to 11% more.
The Constitutional report that includes these data was delivered this Wednesday to the King by the president of the court, Cándido Conde-Pumpido, in the Zarzuela palace. In the introduction to the balance of the last year, Conde-Pumpido reiterates the purpose of the guarantee body to give priority to the oldest issues, a task that has been faced this year with the ruling on the abortion law, pending resolution. for 13 years. The report also highlights that throughout the last year “the growing trend of the last year has continued”, so that “during 2022, citizen demand for constitutional justice has continued to advance to pre-pandemic numbers.”
It is notable in this sense that in 2021, 8,370 new jurisdictional matters were registered, and in 2022 this figure rose to 8,591. Now, once again the large volume of amparo appeals is highlighted, since their number reached the aforementioned 8,528 challenges. On the other hand, in said period of the last fiscal year, there was a “slight reduction” in unconstitutionality appeals, since they went from 39 in 2021 to 36 last year. Issues of unconstitutionality were also reduced, going from 35 in 2021 to 27 in 2022.
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The resolutions issued, in turn, amounted to 7,606, of which 151 were sentences, 178 orders and 7,277 final orders. In the case of the sentences, 70 corresponded to the plenary session and 81 to the two court rooms.
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