Argentina's Judiciary must work toward "overcoming its crisis of legitimacy" after a series of major scandals, the Supreme Court's Chief Justice Carlos Rosenkrantz said Tuesday.
"A Judicial branch without legitimacy loses its raison d'être. We must understand that belonging to the Judicial branch is not a privilege. Being a judge or official of the Judicial branch does not give us rights, rather it imposes on us duties and responsibilities", Rosenkrantz said during the opening of the judicial calendar year, at a presentation in the Supreme Court building.
The country's court system is currently engulfed in scandal, with allegations emerging about an illegal espionage ring with deep roots in the Judiciary.
Rosenkrantz did not make specific mention to the case involving Federal Prosecutor Carlos Stornelli, who is accused of participating in the extortion scheme at the same as he leads the pre-trial investigation into corruption during the Kirchner governments. Through its members on the Magistrate's Council, the Macri administration is pushing for the judge who is investigation Stornelli, Alejo Ramos Padilla, to be removed.
"The crisis of legitimacy is part of a crisis of confidence and the growing mistrust of our citizens, partly because the suspicion that we serve different interests has spread. As judges, we should demonstrate that we are refractory to all personal, ideological or political interests, or any interests which are not aligned with undertaking the rule of law", he added.
"It is impossible to recover the trust of citizens with isolated achievements, and consistency is something which us Argentines struggle with... To be coherent all the time, we must pay a high price because we should be able to live with the lack of popularity that our decisions may cause. We know that not everything the Constitution and our laws establish are popular", he added.
"The legitimacy of judges does not expire because of the way they were chosen, rather it should crucially depend on the way they rule and, more importantly, the reasons they evoke to support their rulings", he said.
"These are not dramatic or categorical changes. But I, however, believe they are very important. To make improvements, many times it's best to move slowly and grow incrementally", he insisted.
In his address to judges and judicial officials, Rosenkrantz pointed out three major successes of his presidency of the Court to date: the implementation of software to analyse cases and the performance of judges; the creation of an agenda of important cases which judicial workers should prioritise; and the creation of a project to regulate purchases and contracting within the Judiciary.
Argentina's first Supreme Court Justice of Jewish origins, Carlos Rosenkrantz was appointed to the Court in August 2016. A little over two years later, in September 2018, he was chosen among his peers as Chief Justice to replace Ricardo Lorenzetti.