Constitutional Court of Colombia
The Constitutional Court of Colombia is the highest entity in the judicial branch of government in the Republic of Colombia in charge of safeguarding the integrity and supremacy of the Colombian Constitution of 1991 within the Constitutional laws. However it is not the highest court of criminal appeal, civil appeal, administrative law disputes, and the administration of justice. The Supreme Court of Colombia, the Council of State of Colombia and the Superior Council of the Judiciary are the highest courts of appeal for their respectives areas of law.
Its main functions according to the Article 241 of the Colombian constitution are:
- to decide on unconstitutionality claims raised by citizens.
- decide on national referendums.
- unconstitutional claims raised by citizens regarding government decrees with law enforcement.
- Decide on unconstitutional demands against Laws.
- Decide on unexcused absences of people required to inquests by any of the commissions in the Congress of Colombia.
- Decide on the constitutionality of legislative decrees that the government declares during "states of exception".
- Decide on the constitutionality of Law drafts which may have been objected by the government as unconstitutional and the drafts of statutory laws.
- Review judicial decisions related to the acción de tutela.
- Decide on executability of international treaties and the laws that approve them. By Decree 2067 of September 4, 1991 the state of Colombia adopts a procedural regime of the judgments and acts that must be presented to the Constitutional Court of Colombia.
Although Colombia in the international concert, was pioneer of the civic control of constitutionality of the laws, that control was assigned in a beginning, in 1910, to the Supreme Court of Justice, maximum tribunal of the ordinary jurisdiction and later on, in 1945, it was divided to surrender to the contentious administrative jurisdiction, the control of constitutionality of the administrative acts.
Although of time one came impelling the creation of a constitutional tribunal behind, after an intent only failed in the reformation of 1968, in 1991, with the expedition of a Political new Letter, reality the establishment of the Constitutional Court was made, proposal in the Government's project and supported by several delegates that considered of supreme importance in the constitutional new outline, the operation of a specialized tribunal that took charge of the guard of the supremacy and integrity of the Constitution.
It is spoken then, of the establishment of a diffuse control, to the head of which the Constitutional Court and the Council of State are and extended to all the judges and tribunals of the Republic, to which the knowledge of the constitutional new actions was assigned of it guides, execution, popular and of group.
By virtue of the transitory article 22 of the Constitution, the first Constitutional Court was integrated for seven magistrates that were designated this way: for the president of the Republic, the doctors Alejandro Martínez Gentleman and Ciro Angarita Baron; for the Supreme Court of Justice, the doctor Jaime Sanín Greiffenstein; for the Council of State, the doctor Simón Rodríguez Rodríguez; for the Attorney general of the Nation, the doctor Eduardo Cifuentes MuDoz and for the Constitutional Court, they were designated of ternas presented by the President of the Republic, the doctors Fabio Moron Díaz and José Gregorio Hernández Galindo.
While it began this way works the Court integrated, the Supreme Court of Justice continued knowing of the matters of constitutionality from June 1, 1991 up to February 1992, 17 it dates in the one which, settled the Constitutional Court for the President of the Republic of then, doctor Cesar Gaviria. As president of the first Court, the doctor was chosen Simón Rodríguez Rodríguez. For that date, you had resided 47 of unconstitutionality demands, 1005 actions of it guides and three legislative ordinances sent by the President of the Republic, in development of the state of economic and social emergency that had been declared at the beginning of the aDo 1992.
This first Court worked up to February 1993, 28 having uttered in this initial stage, a total of 133 sentences of constitutionality and 628 shortcomings of it guides that sat down the first bases of the development jurisprudencial of the new Letter. Of this first stage, shortcomings like those of the Concordat, the economic emergency and the first are remembered you guide that sat down the bases of the constitutional new system.
Later on, the Law 5^ of 1992, organic law by means of which the Regulation of the Congress was adopted, the number of magistrates increased from the Constitutional Court to nine whose election was made of ternas integrated by the President of the Republic, the Supreme Court of Justice and the Council of State, December 1, 1992, date in which was integrated the Court that should begin the period of eight aDos for which was chosen, March 1, 1993.
Members of this Constitutional new Court were the doctors Jorge Arango Mejía, Antonio Barrier Carbonell, Eduardo Cifuentes MuDoz, Carlos Gaviria Díaz, José Gregorio Hernández Galindo, Hernando Herrera Vergara, Alejandro Martínez Gentleman, Fabio Moron Díaz and Vladimiro Orange tree Table.
Later on, they entered to the Corporation, in the doctors' substitution Jorge Arango Mejía and Hernando Herrera Vergara, the doctors Alfredo Beltrán Sierra and Alvaro Tafur Galvis.
Transitorily, they exercised the magistracy in quality of having taken charge, the doctors Julio Caesar Ortiz Gutiérrez and for the first time, a woman, the doctor Carmenza Isaza of Gómez. Later on, the doctors Martha Sáchica Méndez and Brown Cristina Schlessinger and the doctor Jairo Charry Rivas.
It is for all grateful one the advance in the development jurisprudencial that you/they have represented those more than eight thousand sentences dictated by the Constitutional Court that however, and like it is characteristic of a democratic and pluralistic State, it has also generated lit polemic in the circle of the jurists and the Government, institutional confrontations at level of the high corporations of justice, but that equally, has wakened up the trust and the hope of the citizens in their institutions and in the certainty that the Constitution is not a mere theoretical formulation.
The intents of constitutional reformation to modify to this Corporation and inclusive, to suppress it and to return to the control in charge of the Supreme Court of Justice, they have failed.
The Constitutional Court of Colombia is formed by 9 magistrates elected by the Senate of Colombia for individual periods that can range from 2 to 8 years. Prospect candidates to become magistrates are proposed by the President of Colombia, the Supreme Court of Colombia and the Council of State of Colombia (each can propose up to 3 candidates). Candidates must possess different specialties in Colombian Law.
- María Victoria Calle Correa
- Mauricio González Cuervo
- Nilson Pinilla Pinilla
- Jorge Iván Palacio Palacio
- Jorge Ignacio Pretelt Chaljub
- Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto
- Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva
- Constitutional economics
- Rule of law
- Rule of law
- Rule According to Higher Law
- (Spanish) Constitutional Court of Colombia
- (Spanish) Constitutional Court of Colombia official website