What's the Higher Council of the Justíce of Andorra

  • History Open or Close

    Title VII of the Constitution of the Principality of Andorra, the exposition of motives and title II of the Qualified Law of Justice (LQJ) all enshrine the separation of powers in a State under democratic law.

    Thus, institutional practice post-constitution, in accordance with this spirit of establishing a third independent power — the Judiciary, has brought into prominence the figure of the third institutional personality: the president of the Higher Council of Justice of Andorra (CSJA). He represents the full legal acceptance of the term “Higher Council of Justice” and, further, the judicial power in general.

    The spirit and letter of the Constitution and the Qualified Law of Justice, in the Andorran ordinance, enshrine a total separation of the Executive from the Higher Council of Justice. In parallel, they reinforce the latter’s independence and democratic nature, through the president of this Council being appointed by the Speaker of Parliament (Síndic General), an emanation of the popular will and of scrutiny.

  • Duties Open or Close


    According to the same Article 89(1) and the exposition of grounds of the Qualified Law of Justice, the CSJ "as the organ of representation, government and administration of the judicial organisation, watches over the independence and proper functioning of justice".

    I.  The duty of watching over independence

    The judiciary, as a third power, is represented by the Higher Council of Justice and, in particular, by its president in all public acts. By protocol, the president of the CSJA must be honoured as the third personality of the State.

    This aforesaid duty of watching over the independence of Justice involves two aspects: the independence of the acts of the judiciary (1) and the independence of the members of the Administration of Justice (2).


    1) The independence of acts of the judiciary

    The acts of the judicial authority enjoy a special regime which allows them to be removed from subjection to any authority and, in particular, the political authority. The authority of a res judicata confers on judicial decisions the force of legal verity. The task of the CSJ is to ensure that this principle is respected.

    2) The independence of the members of the Administration of Justice

    With regard to the members, the principle of immovability of the judges is enshrined in Article 85 of the Constitution, and in Articles 67 and 68 of the LQJ. The duty of the CSJ is to ensure that no interference takes place of any kind which could obstruct this principle of immovability.



    II.  The duty of watching over the proper functioning of justice

    This duty is also set out in Article 89(3) of the Constitution:

    “The Higher Council of Justice appoints the Magistrates and Judges, exercises disciplinary authority over them and promotes the conditions for the Administration of Justice to carry out its duties with the means available.” Thus it is responsible for the management of human resources (1), materials and finance (2) of the Administration of Justice.


    1) Human resources management

    This function includes the recruitment of magistrates and judges for the Administration of Justice, that is to say, the determination of places to be provided, with the subsequent selection of candidates, their appointment and taking of the oath. The CSJ also takes on formal control of the activity of the magistrates, judges and other functionaries of the Administration of Justice and, in particular, disciplinary control.

    Since the first of July 2004, when the Law of the Public Function of the Administration of Justice came into force, the CSJ has had its own regulation to govern its public function. In this way the CSJ, in order to promote the content of that law, has the human resources to guarantee the supply of the service to the public.

    2) Management of material and financial resources

    The management of material resources of the Administration of Justice includes the management of purely material means, such as premises, furniture and sundry equipment.

    The management of financial resources can be broken down into two operations: the preparation of the general budget of the Administration of Justice and subsequent control of the correct use of the financial means granted to each jurisdiction.

  • Competences Open or Close
    Article 89(3) of the Constitution also mentions that the CSJ, with the purpose of watching over the proper functioning of justice, “may render its opinion in relation to the drafting of bills affecting the Judiciary or to report on the situation of the latter”.

    Subtended from this is a true function of legal and technical advice by the CSJ with regard to the preparation of bills which may, in any form, have a direct or indirect impact on the organisation and functioning of the courts or the Judiciary in general, or affect more globally the independence or intangibility of the judicial power.

    Article 37 of the Qualified Law of Justice envisages two types of opinions which may be issued by the CSJ: one to “give an account of the situation and functioning of the Administration of Justice” (1) and others to “promote improvements in the laws in the judicial ambit” (2).

    1) Reports to "given an account of the situation and functioning of the Administration of Justice"

    This type of report requires a previous task, on the part of all the courts, of collecting the information and sending this information to the CSJ. The latter is clearly in charge of collating the information and the final drafting. These reports must be produced at least once a year and can include various aspects, such as the management of personnel, of  materials and of funds granted to the Administration of Justice.

    2) Reports “to promote improvements in the laws in the judicial ambit”

    This power must be understood not only in the strictest sense, as promoting improvements in the existing laws in the judicial ambit, but also as being able to be defined by the CSJ in the urging a legislative initiative; for example, proposing projects for regulations in certain matters still not regulated, but which could affect the Administration or the functioning of justice and the judicial power as globally understood.

    We can conclude, then, that the global function of the CSJA can be defined not only as a daily administration organ, but also as a guarantee of the independence of the judiciary and as the motor of rationalisation and adaptation and, therefore, of the continuous  modernisation of the judiciary.
  • Composition and mandate Open or Close

    According to Article 89(2) of the Constitution of the Principality of Andorra, "the Higher Council of Justice is composed of five members appointed among Andorrans aged over twenty-five years and conversant with the Administration of Justice, one by each co-prince, one by the speaker, one by the Prime Minister and one elected by the judges and magistrates. Their mandate is for 6 years and they cannot be re-elected more than once consecutively".

    The speaker appoints the president of the Higher Council of Justice.

    On 4 November 201 the members of the Higher Council of Justice took possession for the fourth mandate, being:

    - Sr. Enric CASADEVALL MEDRANO, president, appointed by the Speaker.
    - Sr. Jaume SANSA REÑÉ, vice-president, appointed by the Prime Minister.
    - Sr. Antoni ALEIX CAMP, appointed by the French Co-prince.
    - Sr. Jordi VISENT GUITART, appointed by the Episcopal Co-prince.
    - Sr. Josep Maria CAIRAT VILA, elected by the members of the Judicial body.

    El dia 26 d'octubre del 2005 prenen possessió els membres del Consell Superior de la Justícia pel tercer mandat, a saber:

    - Sr. Lluís MONTANYA TARRÉS, president, appointed by the Speaker.
    - Sr. Josep María CAIRAT VILA, vice-president, appointed by the Prime Minister
    - Sr. Francesc CERQUEDA PASCUET, appointed by the French Co-prince.
    - Sr. Jordi VISENT GUITART, appointed by the Episcopal Co-prince
    - Sra. Mª Teresa ARMENGOL BONET, elected by the members of the Judicial body.

    El 25 d’octubre de 1999, finalitza el mandat d’aquest primer Consell Superior de la Justícia i, el 28 d’octubre del mateix any, prenen possessió els membres del segon i actual Consell Superior de la Justícia:

    - Sr. Marc VILA RIBA, president, appointed by the Speaker..
    - Sr. Francesc CERQUEDA PASCUET, vicepresident, appointed by the French Co-prince.
    - Sr. Josep M. VIOLA SAURET, appointed by the Episcopal Co-prince
    - Sr. Agustí PIFARRÉ ARENY, appointed by the Prime Minister
    - Sr. Jacint RIBERAYGUA CAELLES, elected by the members of the Judicial body.

    El síndic general designa el president del Consell Superior de la Justícia. Per acord de 25 d’octubre del 1993, es constitueix el primer Consell Superior de la Justícia del Principat d’Andorra amb els membres següents:

    - Sr. Josep MARSAL RIBA, president, appointed by the Speaker.
    - Sr. Josep M. VIOLA SAURET, vicepresident, appointed by the Episcopal Co-prince
    - Sr. André PIGOT, membre-secretari, appointed by the French Co-prince.
    - Sr. Antoni ALEIX SANTURÉ, appointed by the Prime Minister.
    - Sr. Estanislau SANGRA FONT, elected by the members of the Judicial body.




    , president, appointed by the Speaker.