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Paraguay Table of Contents


The Judiciary

Article 193 of the Constitution provides for a Supreme Court of Justice of no fewer than five members and for other tribunals and justices to be established by law. The Supreme Court supervises all other components of the judicial branch, which include appellate courts with three members each in the areas of criminal, civil, administrative, and commercial jurisdiction; courts of first instance in these same four areas; justices of the peace dealing with more minor issues; and military courts (see The Criminal Justice System , ch. 5). The Supreme Court hears disputes concerning jurisdiction and competence before it and has the power to declare unconstitutional any law or presidential act. As of 1988, however, the court had never declared invalid any of Stroessner's acts.

Supreme Court justices serve five-year terms of office concurrent with the president and the National Congress and may be reappointed. They must be native-born Paraguayans, at least thirtyfive years of age, possess a university degree of Doctor of Laws, have recognized experience in legal matters, and have an excellent reputation for integrity.

Data as of December 1988