On January 15, 2018, the official versions of Act 120 and Act 121 were published. Both statutes, commonly referred to by the local media as the Judicial Reform of 2017, implement significant changes to the Puerto Rico Judicial System.
In essence, Act 120 amended several articles of the “System to Evaluate Candidates for Judges and Judgeship Act,” the “Puerto Rico Judiciary Act of 2003,” the “Puerto Rico Political Campaign Oversight Act,” the “Puerto Rico Electoral Code,” and the “Puerto Rico Rules of Civil Procedure of 2009,” in order to:
- Clarify the administrative powers of the Judicial Branch that reside on the Supreme Court and those that reside on the Chief Justice;
- Reestablish the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction over writs of mandamus, quo warranto, and prohibition; and,
- Adopt the ruling held on Alvarado Pacheco v. E.L.A., et al., 188 D.P.R. 594 (2013), which reestablishes the availability of intra-jurisdictional certification proceedings and the Court’s discretion to review writs of certiorari from the Court of Appeals regarding interlocutory matters.
Act 121 amended the “Puerto Rico Judiciary Act of 2003,” in order to increase the tenure of the judges appointed to the Superior Court, from 12 to 16 years.
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