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Ecuador president urges reform of constitutional tribunal

[JURIST] Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa [official website, BBC profile] said Monday that the country's newly elected Constituent Assembly [JURIST report] will consider transforming the current Constitutional Tribunal [official website] into a Constitutional Court insulated from political pressure. While the new court would still determine the constitutionality of laws, its members would be selected on the basis of merit rather than by congressional appointment. The membership of the court, now presided over by an ally of Correa, turned over [JURIST report] in June after its judges were dismissed [JURIST report] by the Ecuadorean Congress [official website] during a political battle [JURIST report] over a constitutional referendum.

The day after his party appeared to win a landslide victory in the Constituent Assembly elections earlier this month, Correa announced his intention to disband the Ecuadoran Congress [JURUST report] and rewrite the country's constitution [text, in Spanish]. The results of the elections will not be final until the Supreme Electoral Tribunal certifies them. The assembly will begin drafting a new constitution on October 31, and the final document will be subjected to a national referendum in 2008. Bloomberg has more. El Comercio has local coverage [in Spanish].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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