Argentine Congress aims to 'democratize' courts

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Associated Press

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 24 at 1:04 PM

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's congress is getting close to approving big changes in its justice system. President Cristina Fernandez says the reforms will make courts more democratic and responsive to the people. But her opponents say they will effectively end the separation of powers in Argentina.

While lawmakers shout at each other in the congress, crowds are gathering Wednesday outside, predicting the end of Argentina's democracy.

The changes would, among other things:

— Make it easier to discipline and fire judges with lifetime appointments.

— Create appellate courts to handle civil, administrative, labor and social security cases.

— Strictly limit the use of injunctions against the government.

Fernandez says the move will speed justice, but opponents fear it will make her too powerful.

The votes may happen after midnight Thursday.

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