December 8, 2013
Media law legal battleWednesday, September 4, 2013
Waiting for Zaffaroni
A week after the two public hearings on the Media Law, it remains uncertain when the Supreme Court will rule, as justices have said they will wait until their colleague Eugenio Zaffaroni returns from Germany. However, everything indicates that a ruling could be issued before the October midterms.
Last Wednesday, Justice Zaffaroni left the courtroom and disappeared. Later, court sources confirmed that he had travelled to Germany to give lectures, and that he would be be back in two weeks.
His abrupt departure raised questions as to whether he disapproved of the public hearings held last week with the presence of the Clarín Group, the country’s largest media conglomerate in the country, members of the Kirchnerite administration and organizations that appeared in court as amici curiae.
Court souces denied that was the case, claiming that Zaffaroni had agreed to summon both parties to court, but that a week later he had remembered he had already scheduled conferences in Germany.
When the justice returns, he will have to analyze the case’s records and examine evidence from the hearings he did not attend. Then, all justices will gather and discuss the matter. Sources said that the discussion might take more than one meeting. Justices will be ready to rule in October, days before the midterms, and their ruling could be read as a political message to the government.
“No one can tell when the ruling is going to be ready. It involves a complicated process of elaboration,” a court source told the Herald.
Justices are satisfied by last week’s hearings. The repercussions were “extraordinary” and had an important institutional impact in times when there are sectors demanding judicial reform, which is a pending issue, the source concluded.