Tag Archives: Evolution of the Legal Sector

Evolution of the Legal Sector in Ecuador 2008-2018

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DATE: 10-08-19

CORRALROSALES IN THE NEWS: 

Francisco Corrales

MEDIA: Idealex

To better understand the legislative evolution in this decade, it is necessary to take into account that the presidency of the Republic was exercised by a single character from 2007 to 2017: Rafael Correa, an unprecedented case in Ecuadorian history. There have been presidents who have exercised the presidency for a total of more than 10 years, but not continuously.

In 2008 a new Constitution, the twenty-second, was issued for which a Constituent Assembly was convoked. Its mission was to draft a political letter which to enter into effect required the favorable vote of the majority of citizens expressed in a referendum convoked for the effect. President Correa had an absolute majority in the Assembly and managed to have the 2008 Constitution built to suit his political project: The Ecuadorian version of the so-called 21st Century Socialism. The main ideologues of this movement who played the same role in the constitutions of Venezuela and Bolivia were two Spanish professors belonging to the extremist group “Podemos”.

The 2008 Constitution that currently governs the country, with 23 modifications introduced in three separate occasions, consists of 444 articles, 30 transitional provisions and a transition regime developed in 30 additional articles. The constitution has 52,831 words, compared to that of 1998 with only 29,162 words. It is a convoluted, contradictory, incoherent, and regulatory political letter which strengthens the presidential power to the extreme. In addition, it was shielded in such a way that its reform requires long procedures along with qualified majorities and for certain matters even the convocation of a new Constituent Assembly.

To consolidate the indefinite political power of the XXI Century Socialism sought in Ecuador during the period under review, large numbers of codes and laws were dictated; most of them penned by the presidency of the Republic. There is hardly any law whose initiative came from the Legislative Assembly itself. The assembly members of the political group led by President Correa were an absolute majority which allowed them, without the need for agreements or alliances, to approve as many laws as they considered necessary to suit their interests.

Among others, the following laws were issued: Organic Monetary and Financial Code, Commercial Code, Organic Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization, Organic Code of Judicial Function, Administrative Organic Code, General Organic Code of Processes, Code of “Ingenios” (Organic Code of the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation), Organic Law of the Legislative Function, Law of Jurisdictional Guarantees and Constitutional Control, Organic Law of the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, Organic Law of Higher Education, Organic Electoral Law and Political Organizations, Organic Law of Ombudsman, Organic Law of Land Transportation, Traffic and Road Safety, Organic Law of the National Public Procurement System; To this extravagant number of codes and laws, we must also add reforms of all kinds due to the fact that 11 reforms were issued in the period under review only with regard to tax laws.

Therefore, it is correct to affirm that between 2007 and 2017 Ecuador endured a legislative incontinence of new laws, reforms and counter reforms that have thwarted the institutional and legal structure of the Republic. The vast majority of members from this movement in the government have had the sole goal of strengthening the presidential power and facilitating the fulfillment of the political objectives of the group that held power, that is, its indefinite command of the Republic. This situation has become such a problem that several private and public sectors have suggested that the least traumatic way to end the current legal chaos would be to convoke a referendum in which the people would repeal the 2008 Constitution replacing it with the 1998’s. Therefore, the legislature would adapt the current secondary laws to the constitutional norms of 1998.

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