The General Council of the Judiciary, CGPJ, has included the creation of a new social court (it would be the fourth) in the city of Tarragona in the list of 70 that it considers “essential” to set up in the Autonomous Communities throughout throughout this year. The same list also mentions “a court of first instance and instruction in the judicial district of Rubí or a social court in the judicial district of Reus.”
The CGPJ draws up the list based on the reports received from the National High Court and the Superior Courts of Justice in which the judicial units that should be created throughout the State were estimated at 176. (In fact, the Provincial Court in its report requested the creation of four new courts in the demarcation). The figure is reduced to 70 because that is the number of bodies that the Ministry of Justice has planned for this year.
Overwhelmed since the pandemic
Bearing in mind that the social courts are in charge of resolving the demands that have to do with labor conflicts (from dismissals to ERTES) as well as matters related to Social Security, it is not surprising that the volume of cases that they serve has increased considerably with the pandemic.
In fact, in 2021, the cases that entered the city’s social courts increased by 17.7% in court number 1 compared to the previous year, 19.3% in number 2 and 14.8% in number 3.
But what gives a clearer dimension of saturation is the number of cases received above the stipulated workload for each court. Last year, 69.13% more cases entered social affairs No. 1, 67.50% more in No. 2 and 82.2% more in No. 3. In addition, in Reus they were 82.25% more.
Despite everything, last year the number of cases resolved increased and the resolution time decreased. However, the estimated response time ranges from 11.3 months in court number 1 to 15.1 months in court number 3.
Fear of more dispersion
Yesterday, the UGT union showed their concern about the fact that the creation of the new court implies an increase in the dispersion of judicial offices in the city.
They recall that “currently the Tarragona capital courts are distributed in eight different parts of the city, the vast majority based on rents that entail a very high monthly expense, problems of architectural barriers and disorientation for users.”
Jordi Giménez, Head of the Justice Union of the UGT of Catalonia, believes that the situation of saturation in which the current eight offices find themselves makes it impossible to install a new court in any of them, for which he considers that it will be inevitable to have a ninth campus.
The dean of the Il·lustre Col·legi de l’Advocacia de Tarragona – ICAT, Estela Martín, considers, however, that we must not lose sight of the fact that the creation of this court is good news for citizens. She believes that if it is necessary to set a balance that there is more dispersion or that the resolution terms are shortened, she opts, without a doubt, for the latter.
He points out that this new court is, in reality, the consolidation of a reinforcement court that already exists. That yes, creating the new court will imply the hiring of more personnel and the dean also sees it difficult to have a place in the headquarters of Av. Roma 21. For this reason, she hopes that, if a new location is sought, one close to the already existing.
He considers, however, that we must not stop claiming that Tarragona has the Ciutat de la Justícia that it has been claiming for years.
In January, the Minister of Justice, Lourdes Ciuró, announced that 70 million euros will be invested for its construction in the surroundings of the Joan XXIII Hospital. The works would begin at the end of 2023 and the start-up would be in 2026.