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Ecuador selects new high court judges by lottery

[JURIST] Ecuador selected a new temporary Supreme Court on Wednesday via lottery, but the judges picked plan to reject their appointments. The previous Supreme Court was abolished under a new constitution [text, in Spanish] that took effect last week. The temporary court that has now been set up in its place has designated 21 out of 31 former judges as members by lot and will operate until a permanent court takes over in 2009. Last week the judges of the previous Supreme Court released a statement [AP report] indicating their refusal to fill seats that have been selected by a process that they deemed degrading. AP has more.

The new constitution, approved in September by a referendum [JURIST, report], establishes a transitional regime that will govern until general elections in 2009. Last week the old Supreme Court took the first steps toward creating a new oral argument system [JURIST report], as required by the new charter. Critics continue to fear the 444-article document gives the president too much control over the economy and the judiciary.

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