Paraguay - Judicial system

The five-judge Supreme Court exercises both original and appellate jurisdiction. There are four appellate tribunals: civil/commercial, criminal, labor, and juvenile. There are special appellate chambers for civil and commercial cases and criminal cases. Each rural district ( partido ) has a judge appointed by the central government to settle local disputes and to try accused persons and sentence those found guilty. Federal judges and magistrates are appointed by the executive for a term of five years coinciding with the presidential term, so that the judges of the Supreme Court and lesser tribunals are always named by the president in power. The Council of State must approve the appointment of members of the Supreme Court and may remove them by impeachment. Justices of the peace deal with minor cases.

The 1992 Constitution provides for selection of judges by an independent body working with the Congress and the executive. As of 1997 based on recommendations from the Magistrates Council, the Supreme Court nominated 215 lower court judges and magistrates. There is also a military court system for the armed forces. The judicial system is based on civil law, mainly influenced by French and Argentine codes.

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