Arturo Zaldívar is called upon to combat “the corrupting effect” to which he alluded when he proposed to release Florence Cassez after having verified the elements contrary to the presumption of innocence that permeated his criminal process.
In 2013, the SCJN challenged the parallel court of public opinion that demonized that woman, long before a judge delivered its verdict. The Cassez case is no exception. With infinite frequency parallel courts prevail over Mexican jurisdictional courts.
They are enemies of the rule of law because they skew the administration of justice, creating an environment that is adverse to the impartial evaluation of the evidence.
The popular consultation proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to try the former presidents will cause the same “corrupting effect”, since it will lead to the establishment of a parallel court that, regardless of the charges or the evidence, will annul the principle of presumption of innocence that every person deserves according to the set of constitutional rights that our country has and that is supported by the Inter-American and United Nations systems, regarding due process.
This consultation violates a key criterion of international law: « the judges must decide without any restriction and without influence inducements, pressure, threats or undue interference in the judicial process. »
It is undeniable that the parallel court erected from the so-called popular consultation would cause undesirable media interference that would put at risk of political manipulation the assessment process of the complaint against the former presidents.
The consultation, as it is raised, would give rein to the punitive populism that assumes as guilty those people judged as such by the majority, and that considers the law and everything that the judges have to say as irrelevant.
Zoom: The quality of democracy is closely linked to the quality of criminal justice. Consequently, parallel courts and punitive populism are a threat that the SCJN is obliged to ward off. To combat the « corrupting effect », the highest court must classify the alleged popular consultation as illegal.